Premier:’nothing untoward’ re-roof repair funds

| 25/02/2021 | 85 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Alden McLaughlin and Minister Dwayne Seymour

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin came to the support of his beleaguered health minister on Wednesday, claiming there was “nothing untoward” about the funds Dwayne Seymour had signed off on for a constituent’s roof repairs. Although McLaughlin has previously stated that money for home repairs had to be carefully scrutinized and meet the criteria, he blamed the COVID pandemic for upending the usual application processes.

Last week Seymour signed off on a CI$5,000 payment to a contractor, who is also a registered voter in his constituency, to undertake roof repairs to a property owned by another of his Bodden Town East registered voters. It is not clear whether or not the money will be used to repair the woman’s own home or the apartments that she rents out that are on the same property.

While government does fund repairs to homes for all vulnerable people and those in need, there is an application process. Repairs are funded after homeowners have applied to the Needs Assessment Unit within McLaughlin’s Ministry of Community Affairs and met the criteria for what is clearly an important national social assistance programme.

Seymour, however, does not have an allocated budget for such repairs and there is no formal department within his ministry to assess such needs, as his housing designation is purely related to the National Housing Development Programme and not existing private properties.

But despite his previous concerns, at Wednesday’s press briefing where Minister Tara Rivers announced her decision to leave the political arena, McLaughlin, responding the questions from CNS, was quick to defend his remaining coalition minister, who it has been made clear that he will be part of the PPM-led coalition campaign, which begins Monday.

In his defence of Seymour, McLaughlin said he was not the only minister who had signed off on funds to help people and that it was perfectly normal for the government to foot the bill for roof repairs. Regardless of the political time of year or the disruptions to what he said were the committees that deal with this type of thing, “the rain continues to fall” on the homes that are in dire need of repair.

McLaughlin said he was not entirely sure of the details of this particular case but it seemed that the money became available following budget adjustments and he was very confident that everything was above board.

Seymour is likely to be in a tough head to head race for the Bodden Town East constituency with former PPM member, Osbourne Bodden, who is running on a team platform with Wayne Panton, running in Newlands, and Heather Bodden, who is running in Savannah. Having secured just 38% of the vote last time in a four-way race, Seymour is one of McLaughlin’s more vulnerable team members.

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Category: 2021 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (85)

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  1. Dexter Layman Ebanks says:

    I was at the ground breaking for ” SEAFARER PARK ” on Feb. 26th
    and saw David White with a shovel full of dirt and said to myself ” Boy that’s the hardest David worked in the four year of being a Member of Parliment ” so no one can convince me that he’s not a hard worker for the people of the Cayman Islands

  2. Anonymous says:

    Leave Minister Seymour alone you haters. He is only helping pure Caymanian’s who are just facing hard times.

  3. Anonymous says:

    CNS. I could not find this article in the election section of the website.

    CNS: Sorry, we gave it a different title. I’ll change the link so it’s less confusing, but here it is: Mac shapes up West Bay team

  4. Anonymous says:

    Come back Legge. You were right all along.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Quote: “McLaughlin said he was not entirely sure of the details of this particular case”.

    I don’t think he sure of ANYTHING.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden, that’s it for me,
      Your refusal to speak out against Mac’s drunken woman beating, added to this means I can no longer trust you to act in any principled way .

  6. Anonymous says:

    Full moon tomorrow. Unnah might can run but unnah can’t hide.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yet they wonder why Cayman is on the latest gray list.

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