The village meeting to vote on the proposed 1666 acre Stanhope Shepherd Gravenor Landing resort, which is said to include a marina, various residences, a golf course and a donkey sanctuary (isn’t the whole island a donkey sanctuary..?) was a heated affair. The turnout was at least 250 with many people angry about the proposal and the lack of information regarding the terms of any lease provided by Council. There was little clarity regarding due diligence, the exact area requested and the amount of employment it would generate. The law specifies that only Barbudans (not other Nationals or Antiguans) who are registered on the voters list can vote. As this was not verified and only 105 persons voted, thus the majority of the island did not vote. It is apparent that no lease can be granted based on this meeting as the Barbuda Land Act provides for four steps:
- The majority of Barbudans agree in principle.
- The Council obtain full details of the project and make their judgement on behalf of the people.
- The proposal is forwarded to Cabinet once Council agrees – and Cabinet must agree.
- The people then make their final judgement.