Opposition mulling options on CIG beach access failures

| 31/01/2018 | 35 Comments

(CNS): The opposition leader plans to press the issue of the government’s failure to act on registering and preserving beach access points, which many people fear are going to be lost forever, despite the current administration’s promises to address the problem. Ezzard Miller told CNS that he and the members of the opposition are considering a number of options to hold government accountable for the attorney general’s and land registrar’s failure to register the accesses that have been identified by activists and government’s own most recent report. 

The increasing number of reports of problems surrounding beach access, from pathways being completely blocked to people being chased from beaches, has caused concern in the community, and local activists have been increasing their efforts to raise public debate. Miller said that the opposition believes it now has to take action in support of the campaign because efforts so far to get government to register many of the access points have failed.

The independent member for North Side said that the opposition is considering a number of actions, such as writing to the governor and demanding that the attorney general and registrar do their job and register the accesses as required under the law, bringing a motion to the Legislative Assembly asking for some kind of sanction against the AG, or even to begin fundraising to cover the legal costs of a court action.

“This has been going on for long enough and senior civil servants should be held accountable and made to do their job,” he said, adding that the issue was attracting growing public attention as people recognise the danger of losing access to the islands’ beaches.

Miller said that MLAs had been assured by government that, following a recent report and the impending creation of a commission over the issue, they would be consulted about all of the traditional beach access points in their constituencies that are being lost, blocked, built over or are unmarked, so that they could all be considered. But, he said, this appears not to have happened.

The local activist group, Concerned Citizens, recently issued a press statement about their near 20-year battle to address the issue and the long fight they have had raising concerns that they cannot get anyone in authority to enforce the law and formally register the access points before it is too late. They have also created a website, Cayman Beach Watch, where the long history of the battle is set out and the relevant documentation is available.

See the recent government reports identifying and examining the current status of beach access around the islands: Part 1 and Part 2.

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Category: Local News, Politics

Comments (35)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Everyone wondering whose job in Govt. sorting this out is? Its the Public Lands Commission. http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/cayman-islands-public-lands-commission-launched/




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  2. Anonymous says:

    The worst offenders in my experience are local landowners fixated on property re-sale value.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    There is blatant violation of the law on Boggy Sands Road….one “public beach access” has 2 gates, one locked with a key AND a security guard!! I asked him if it was a public beach access and he said yes, apparently he’s only there to stop the locked gate blowing in the wind…..tell that to the tourists




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Mull all you likes to.
    All the gov gone to Jam to hook up with they bredren.




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  5. SSM345 says:

    JuJu was gun ho in the Brac a few years back paving public roads as she sat all high and mighty on a steamroller but cannot fix the issue of public beach access. Eventually someone is going to come to blows over this and only then she pull her head out the sand.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Sad that some people feel so entitled that they think they can stop others from accessing and using the beach just like they do!

    Just because you bought an expensive condo doesn’t give you the right to cut other people off from entering the beaches. You paid for the condo, but you do not own the beach; not today, not ever bo-bo!




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  7. Anonymous says:

    JU JU…. still zzzzzzzzzzz




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard, try rectifying the zoo at our main Public Beach First. What about access there? Perhaps people are resorting to going to other beach areas more than ever because the Public Beach is a complete disaster!




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  9. Anonymous says:

    An expat, a young professional with little kids, who brought this issue to light, is long gone and is successfully working for Google in London. The beach access issue is still here.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    When you want proof of a dysfunctional government with their inability in the management of such obvious and basic law enforcement here you have it.
    Beach access is a problem still unresolved???
    To those who want government to take control of law enforcement in general I can only say, beware.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Why is this so difficult for Government to confront a matter and enforce the laws? Always worried to step on someone’s toes or offend someone who has a business or money. Stop trying to satisfy only a certain section of the population and start looking out for the interest of the average resident.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Its called work. The Government doesn’t want to do hard work on an issue. If you ignore it…hopefully the hard work will go away.
      Bad.. Hard work… You..Bad….Go Away….




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    • Joe B says:

      It takes a level of training and a certain degree of work ethic to get the harder stuff done. Face up Cayman. You don’t have that in your government yet. Maybe a few generations in the future and you might. Right now they end up throwing away as much as they spend and they end up trying to fix things after its way too late. This will not change soon so just get used to it.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    I suspect any government not enforcing this and not being seen very publicly to enforce it, will not be a government for long. For locals, expats and tourists alike, access to the beach is one of the basic reasons why we are here.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Pray tell me what laws Govt is supposed to be enforcing in relation to prescriptive rights ?! Do you actually know the difference between such a right and a public right of way granted by way of a Planning condition or one registered at cadastral? Prescriptive rights cannot be acted upon or registered until proven to exist in court.




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      • Anonymous says:

        So public rights of way are not being blocked, are you trying to say? Or are you using your fancy language because you are one of those blocking a right of way or just because you are an a$$hole?




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  13. Dunz says:

    I am confused, can somebody please enlighten me, if a pubic right of way is blocked, can I remove the blockage without being arrested. Is it not the same as me blocking the pavement or a road.

    Also, if a security guard or individual place their hand on me or threatens me if I do not move from a public beach/pathway is that not also illegal.

    I am not interested in hearing that the police or government are lazy or the usual ex-pat taking over Cayman etc. Just the legal point, as this once happened in Barbados and the populace tore it down, never to be repeated again.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Short, IANAL answer is no.
      1) Something blocking a ‘public right of way’? Call the police (not 911) to have it removed. While it can’t be there if you ‘take’ it then you’re stealing and end up in a two-wrongs scenario. – Imagine if you drive someone’s car out of a roadway. You did the right thing for the road but took their car without authorization. (Obviously one hopes common sense prevails and people dragging stuff out of lanes never makes the press. But beach accesses have passed common sense a while ago.)
      2) They can put their hand on you in a non-violent manner. Your only hope is to have them ‘rough you up’ while your friend films and calls police and you (clearly on the video) give no resistance whatsoever. If you try to resist them ‘asking’ you to leave, much less instigate things in some way, e.g., verbal aggression, then you get into a question of ‘appropriate degree of force while engaged in self defense’. And that’s even more complicated than a beach access.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    The opposition supporting the resolution of this issue could be response that could force the government to do something publicly

    An open letter, some sort of vote on the floor of the LA (if they ever resume lawmaking that is) something rather than nothing

    Individually they have one vote each together they command enough votes to make a strong statement the government would at least be forced to actually oppose them publicly




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  15. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully, if any evidence comes to light of officials deliberately failing to address the issue, and not using the powers of enforcement available to them, they will be named and shamed – sorry, silly me, what was I thinking.




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    • West bay Premier says:

      Mr . Miller if you can get the Public beach access fixed permanently without the of newly formed Activists group , and keep getting things done, you will be next Premier .




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      • Anonymous says:

        In order for Mr Miller to “be Premier” he will have to get 9 other persons to agree to form a government with him
        and considering most of those independents (especially the career politicians) think they ought to be Premier over anyone else, that is never going to happen
        They had 2, I’ll say again, 2 opportunities to form a government but they squabbled over who would be called what and who would get what honors and they fell through so now we are stuck with this hellish PPM/CDP coalition

        We need new blood in the LA and we certainly need to dismantle this infantile duopoly that the CDP and PPM have convinced us we cannot survive without
        (though we did it well enough for quite a long time)




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    • Anonymous says:

      Why should government be expected to enforce this important law if they won’t enforce environmental protection laws and adequately fund DOE? The way this country is going there won’t be anything left to see at the beach nor in the ocean if they don’t start taking these vital protections seriously and fund accordingly.




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  16. Anonymous says:

    This has nothing to do with the AG or Joey Hew and the Ministry of Planning- it is a matter solely for the Ministry of Ed and Lands ie JuJu.
    These rights have NOT been proven as yet. That’s not to say that they can’t be proven , it’s just that at the moment legally they haven’t been. Government, via the Ministry of Ed:Lands, can now take the matters to court under the amendments to the Prescription Law and ask the court to declare them public rights of way(which can then be registered).




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    • Anonymous says:

      Education and Land? A rather strange combination. I didn’t know that one person has power to circumvent law enforcement.




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  17. UnCivil Servant says:

    Ministers Juliana O’Connor-Connolly responsible for Lands and Joseph Hew responsible for Planning are both useless and compromised. How difficult is it to enforce the relevant laws and recognize the prescriptive rights that exists with these Public Beach Accesses? Former minister Kurt Tibbetts for Lands and Planning was lazy and only looked out for certain people ignoring the issues. Unfortunately, the new ministers are continuing the legacy of indifference and ineptitude. Is there anybody in government prepared to enforce basic laws?




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    • Anonymous says:

      You knew the answer before you asked the question.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Minsters set policy they do not enforce the laws

      Sadly the minsters don’t seem to put the pressure on persons who CAN influence enforcement of laws and regulations
      even when the public pressure is on them (likely because they have no fear of being challenged by the electorate and are counting on an apathetic populous)




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      • Anonymous says:

        Bullshit. Constitutionally you are correct, but do you honestly believe politicians in Cayman are not directly pulling the strings, including in relation to what to enforce against who, and when?




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        • Anonymous says:

          I am sure they do in some instances but at the same time I don’t think those pomp, and highfalutin MLAs would risk their asses to order their subordinates to not enforce the laws especially with something as publicly volatile as this whole beach access situation

          If it were ever to get out that an MLA was behind the lack of enforcement of something like this it would be the end of their career




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          • Anonymous says:

            Yea bobo you got it!!! lmao
            You forget some politicians were given a seat for life and could shoot your mother and still get elected




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    • Boggy Sound man says:

      Not totally useless as they know how to keep getting re-elected and collect the big paychecks. Talk smooth and nice and make no waves; passport to successes. You see the elected member for Prospect caught on really quick.




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    • Joe B says:

      The over all answer is no.




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    • Anonymous says:

      If you look at the documentsCNS provided, you will see that some accesses are obvious, some are already registered, some are the owner’s driveway access into his property, some don’t appear to have been used for many years if ever, some are completely nonexistent, some literally would pass through houses, some go to ironshore rather than beach. The affidavits provide support for only a few of the specific accesses claimed in the documents. The owners could contest many of the claims and could well win many of them. It will not be easy or cheap and a great deal of Caymanian owned property will be impaired.




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  18. Anonymous says:

    Long overdue!




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