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Town hall meeting set for concerned Caymanians

A group of local people all concerned with the way Cayman is being developed are putting on an event for the public on Saturday 19th January at the South Sound Community Centre from 12 to 4pm to help the public better understand the issues that they believe need to be given far more input by residents.

The ‘Cayman 2020 – Visualising Our Future’ event will be a town hall community event and is supported by a whole range of community groups all keen to protect Cayman’s environment, including the National Trust, CCMI, Saved the Cove, Save Barkers, Save Cayman and CPR (Cruise Port Referendum) Cayman.

Participating groups will be presenting on a range of topics including sustainable development, tourism, social wellbeing and community development, and environmental conservation efforts and legislation.

According to organiser, Katrina Jurg, founder member of the CPR Cayman group which is pushing for a referendum on the Port development, the event has been put together following the support the CPR Cayman group say they received once they began speaking to people about the referendum.

“Throughout the process of engaging the public on this issue we engaged the public on much wider issues - a lot of people have brought a lot of issues to our attention and people are very concerned about the direction the country is going in: a lack of vision; a lack of planning; a lack of national development plan; a lack of consultation,” she said.

“There’s a disconnect between what Caymanians want for the future and what the government wants for the future,” she continued. “If you just look at the new year’s addresses, the Speaker is talking about building 50 storey skyscrapers and the Premier says they are moving forward with the cruise berthing facility completely ignoring the peoples’ referendum that is in process.”

Ms Jurg said that throughout the process of campaigning for a referendum, organisers noticed a sense of disconnect among the community, whereby people were seeking the ability to come together to plan for the future. As a result, Ms Jurn said that they were encouraging people to come together to visualise Cayman’s future at the meeting and help to begin planning for it.

“We understand the need for unity as we all want to live in a Cayman that is safe, clean, environmentally protected and demonstrates stability, participatory democracy, sound financial management and good governance. Cayman 2020 we hope will be the start of a new era of greater community involvement in building a better Cayman for all citizens and residents,” she confirmed.

Ms Jurg underscored the importance of their movement when she said that the various topical issues impacting us all today had the potential to negatively impact current and future generations in a myriad of ways. These concerns included environmental, socio-economic and long-term financial concerns, she said.

Admission to the South Sound Community Centre event is free and is open to the general public. At 4pm there will also be a free showing of Rebirth, which Ms Jung described as a compelling documentary made by university students in the United States discussing the continuing war between development and conservation.

Ms Jung confirmed that CPR Cayman were “very close” to presenting the petition to government calling for a referendum on the port development.

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