Mr. Speaker, I rise to update this Honourable Chamber on the current refurbishment and repairs now being carried out on the East Wing of the iconic, historical and hallowed buildings known as the Parliament Buildings. The Parliament Buildings, which were built between 1870 and 1874 some 147 years ago, have been the meeting place of both Chambers of Parliament since 16th June, 1874. The Parliament Buildings consist of two 2) buildings built in the Neo-Gothic architectural style, reminiscent of the Victorian era of Great Britain.
The East Wing of Parliament features timber flooring with some sections of the ground floor area in concrete. The building was designed from those early times to be ventilated by natural ventilation, as is evident by the large windows and doors.
In recent years however, the building has developed several environmental problems resulting in its occupants complaining of feeling unwell when using it, which has forced in the subsequent evacuation of persons from the severely affected rooms.
As a result of these problems, Parliament has therefore been temporarily resited from 24th February, 2020 and is currently operating from here at the Worthing Corporate Centre in Worthing, Christ Church. I should note here that occurrences like this involving complaints from staff and users of Crown properties about less than satisfactory environmental conditions and air quality over the years have been increasing and efforts are underway to redress these problems.
I will now briefly examine and discuss some common strategies and initiatives being adopted to help improve the quality of office accommodation in the wider public sector in Barbados.
Click here to download the full ministerial statement from Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance Dr. William Duguid.