In light of the public fall out between businessman Mark Maloney and this country’s Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins, a top official of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) has sounded a serious warning to Government that there cannot be one rule for the rich, and another for the poor.
Breaking his silence on the matter, which is currently the subject of litigation, NUPW Treasurer Asokore Beckles further cautioned of the need for all classes to be treated equally, while insisting “there must be one law for all Barbadians”.
In the latest development to the ongoing saga involving Maloney and Cummins, the Town Planning Department has set its sights on a number projects involving the prominent developer. The most recent is the Bushy Park racing facility in St Philip, where a stop notice has been issued to the Barbados Motoring Federation over its construction of a ticket booth and a mechanic shop.
A week ago, a demolition squad led by Town Planning also swooped down on the Lears, St Michael roundabout, tearing down a chattel hut in the centre of the roundabout, which had been the subject of a Town Planning order since 2011.
In defence of its action, the Town Planning office said the hut was impeding the sight of motorists using the roundabout. However, with Maloney and Cummins still at odds over the construction of a cement base at Spring Garden, St Michael for the Maloney-owned Rock Hard Cement Limited, Beckles, who has just announced plans to contest Sunday’s Opposition Barbados Labour Party nomination in St Michael South, said he was patiently waiting to see how that entire situation unfolds.
“I find it strange that for many years, and it was said on my side of the isle [the Opposition benches of Parliament], there was preferential treatment. I am not going to call any names, but there was preferential treatment and now that you have had this kind of separation, it seems at a convenient time for me. So I would say obey the law, but I do not want one treatment for one and one treatment for another [group of Barbadians],” the BLP hopeful told Barbados TODAY.
He was adamant that the laws of the country must be obeyed and that there must be equal treatment for all Barbadians, while saying: “I know very well the Town & Country planning tears down houses, tears down squatters’ houses, buildings anything. If you are not listening to Town & Country Planning they take action. So I find it very strange that that structure is still being built and they are going to court and I find it very strange that many years had gone by before the structure in Lears was taken down. I find it very convenient that these things are happening right now but I’m patiently listening and watching,” said Beckles, who currently wears two hats as union representative and political aspirant who is aiming to ultimately unseat Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who is not only the representative for St Michael South but also holds ministerial responsibility for the Town & Country Planning department.
Stuart is on record as saying that the laws of the country must be respected as they relate to the office of the Chief Town Planner.