Despite the shortfall in its subvention, MP Walker says Barbuda Council has had to assume some Central Gov’t obligations

Barbuda MP Trevor Walker has revealed that the Barbuda Council, on occasion, has had to pay some of the sister-island’s teachers on behalf of the Central Government.

Payment to public-school teachers, whether they are employed in Barbuda or Antigua, is the responsibility of the Central Government.

Accordingly, Walker says the Council has been admonished to stop making such payments, since it is not among the functions of the Council.

However, he says they paid the teachers who work on Barbuda for the benefit of the children on the island – although Central Government was failing to transfer the meager monthly subsidy, of $500,000, in a timely manner.

Additionally, Walker says, the airport on Barbuda is the responsibility of Central Government.  However, it was also left to the Council to deal with the payment of staff.  He says the local body had to pay the cleaners and other persons to maintain the facility.

Despite the responsibility not being the Council’s, Walker says it ensured that payments were made, because it has to make sure the system in Barbuda continues to work.

Further, the Barbuda MP reveals that, after Hurricane Irma devastated the island in 2017, destroying the nurses’ hostel, it was the local government who paid rent to ensure the nurses on the sister-island had somewhere to stay.

When Barbudans speak on certain issues, Walker says, he wants Antiguans to understand that they are not trying to be disruptive or to oppose everything; but the islanders have been through some difficult times over these many years.