Land Registry staff visit Barbuda to advance plans for office there; sources say the rush is to facilitate title to Dulcina lands
The Government appears to be moving forward with its plans to establish a Land Registry on Barbuda, as sources say that personnel from the Antigua Registry paid a visit to the sister-island earlier today, Wednesday, November 16.
They say a Coast Guard vessel transported the group to Barbuda to commence activities for the new department. However, the sources add, the Barbuda Council was not advised of the visit and therefore did not extend any invitation to the group.
It is alleged that the Government’s mad rush to get the Registry set up is to facilitate and concretize land transactions in relation to the Dulcina Hotel property, which reportedly is owned by family members of Prime Gaston Browne.
It was pointed out that the Barbuda Local Government Act (1976) establishes a Council for Barbuda, which is responsible for administering the local governance system.
According to the Act, “The Council shall be a body corporate by the name of ‘the Barbuda Council’ with perpetual succession and a common seal, and power to purchase, acquire, hold, mortgage and dispose of land and other property.”
The Act further states that Barbuda shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Council, which is invested with the powers set out in the Act.
Accordingly – in spite of a recent Privy Council ruling – most Barbudans continue to hold onto their position that they own the land in common
As a result, many of them are offended by the Browne Administration’s attempt to sell Barbudans the lands on which they live for the sum of $1.