Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment, Lionel Weekes, presenting Operator of the Year (2010), Shane Marshall with his award. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??

Seven members of the staff of the Drainage Division of the Ministry of the Environment were rewarded yesterday for their dedication to duty, during a ceremony at the Ministry’s Hinck’s Street, Bridgetown office.

They were awarded for their contributions to the division, and Environment Minister, Dr. Denis Lowe, congratulated both the awardees and their director, Keith Barrow, for their consistently, outstanding work.

"The effort to extract the highest level of value in service out of workers is not, sometimes, very easy…it is a reality in work culture.?? And therefore, when you recognise that there are those who persistently give of their very best, I think that it is something worth noting…and rewarding," he said.

The Minister also used the occasion to address some issues relevant to the division and its work.

"The Drainage Division’s responsibility, in terms of Town Planning permissions, has increased and will continue to increase, because we’re going to insist that no Town Planning permission should be granted until the Drainage Division makes an input…what is happening now is that in some cases permission was given, where builders have built on water courses, and completely impacted on the direction of the storm water.??

"And now we are having problems; not only inland, but we are having problems as those waters flow towards the shoreline," Dr. Lowe observed, adding that the Division needed increased resources so it could adequately perform its duties.

Permanent Secretary, Lionel Weekes, revealed that the Chief Town Planner had suggested that the Ministry should "chair a session every 2 to 3 months where all the regulatory agencies come together, to see if we can expedite Town Planning applications".?? He named the Town Planning Department, his Ministry, the Drainage

Division, Barbados Water Authority, the Environmental Protection Department, Coastal Zone Management Unit, the Ministry of Transport and Works, the Environmental Health Department in the Ministry of Health, and the Natural Heritage Department as relevant agencies to be included.??

Mr. Weekes said that adoption of this approach would ensure that "when we look at the applications, rather than have them in a single file manner, the major applications could be looked at by all the environmental agencies at the same time."


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