A loud ‘no” to demise of Camerhogne Park

Trade union representative in the Senate, Ray Roberts has written to Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to impress upon him the need to stay clear from Camerhogne Park and not turn it over to any hotel developer.

THE NEW TODAY received a copy of the letter, dated January 25, 2016 sent by Roberts in his capacity as Coordinator  of the COMMITTEE TO SAVE CAMERHOGNE PARK to the Grenadian leader.

The letter was dispatched as preparations continue by pro-Camerhogne Park supporters to occupy the area on Independence Day (February 7) to send a strong signal to the ruling New National Party (NNP) government.

This newspaper understands that the move to save the park is being led by several young people using Social Media.

They have been sending out messages encouraging Grenadians to show up at Camerhogne Park on Independence Day.

One of the organisers of the event told this newspaper that the intention is to invite persons to come to the park in the south of the island after the official ceremony at the national stadium at Queen’s Park.

She said the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) would be approached to allow a Public Address system to be set up in the park so that students especially from T.A Marryshow College (TAMCC) can read patriotic poems on the day.

“No political speeches will be allowed. The intention is to sort of arouse a sense of national patriotism at Camerhogne Park on Independence Day”, she told THE NEW TODAY.

Following is the full text of Roberts’ letter to Prime Minister Mitchell:

Dr. Keith Mitchell
Prime Minister
Botanical Garden
ST. GEORGE’S.

Dear Prime Minister,




Greetings and best wishes for 2016!

On behalf of our grouping of Civil Society Organisations, workers, professionals and citizens in general, we write to express our unconditional opposition to your government’s confirmation that Camerhogne Park is being considered for commercial investment.

We were taken aback by a statement in your Budget Speech that “the Rievera Hotel is now being designed and will create a further one hundred jobs during the construction. During this design phase, the investors have agreed to construct a new Camerhogne Park nearby”.

You may be aware that the park was initiated several decades ago as a solution to potential conflicts between the public using the beach and hotel owners and guests. At that time locals felt that they were treated as second-class citizens without any access to facilities that were provided for hotel guests.

As you would appreciate, Camerhogne Park is ideally situated with beach frontage, parking facilities, toilets, changing facilities, showers and with access to transportation and all the other services in the Morne Rouge area. It is an area that is used frequently by citizens of all ages from all over Grenada, all through the year.

Your government has argued that the investment will bring jobs and while we welcome the job opportunities and business the investment could bring, we are unconditionally opposed to Camerhogne Park being taken away from ordinary Grenadians.

If the park is taken away then this action will be in contravention of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to which Grenada is a signatory. The CBD urges countries to provide green spaces in urban areas. The World Health Organisation (WHO) also supports the provision of green spaces. A 2015 WHO report documents the contribution of green spaces to mental and physical fitness and the cultural dimensions of health.

Whilst most countries worldwide have understood the importance of cherishing whatever heritage resources they have, our government is considering making a decision about Camerhogne Park, which will not be in keeping with Grenada’s image internationally as a champion for the environment.

We therefore appeal to you and your government to consider the many other sites available for constructing a hotel, instead of selling this historical area ought to be seen as the Pyramids in Egypt and the Great Wall in China. Also it is the last available public green space on Grand Anse Beach.

We trust that your government would ensure the continuation of the tradition of Grenadians being stakeholders, enjoying the beach just as any visitor or investor.

Respectfully

Ray Roberts
Coordinator

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