The group of concerned residents who had campaigned to stop the Government’s plan to enhance the Smith Barcadere location have welcomed the Government’s U-turn stopping all work on the project.
Ms Berna Cummins, who led a recent demonstration at the location, is part of The People for the Protection for Smith Barcadere group. The group had campaigned to stop Government’s plans to build a 45-capacity carpark on the beach side of the site on the ironshore, install restrooms, cabanas and traffic calming measures, worrying that the site was really being upgraded for cruise tourists. Smith Barcadere, also known as Smith Cove, is a popular beach for many local people, located away from busy Seven Mile Beach in quiet South Church Street, in South Sound.
“I am so happy that no further work will take place at Smith Barcadere and that it will be left in its natural state. It is so beautiful as it is now,” Ms Cummins said. “This is a very special place for so many people not only in Cayman but all over the world.”
The protest picnic, which took place last month, saw representatives of the People for the Protection of Smith Barcadere voice their concerns in front of Infrastructure Minister Joey Hew and MLA for the location Councilor Barbara Conolly. The site is also a popular spot with stayover vacationers who have grown to love the peace of the location. At the protest meeting, visitors could be seen with signs protesting the upgrade project, saying it would spoil their vacation.
Ms Cummins said that Smith Barcadere was “for the people to enjoy”.
“We do not want all the enhancements proposed. We are delighted that MLA Barbara listened and will not proceed with further work there,” she said.
Ms Cummins added that The People for the Protection for Smith Barcadere believed that the enhancements were geared toward the cruise industry as the Department of Tourism was pushing it on their website.
“It is very popular and stressed enough now as a lot of residents enjoy it,” she confirmed.
Even though Government has announced that all work will stop on enhancing the location, Smith Barcadere is definitely in need of some small enhancements, to make the site a pleasant experience for anyone visiting it, in particular, the inadequate restrooms. This would be addressed by the group, Ms Cummins said.
“We will now focus on cleaning up the restrooms with paint and repairs along with obtaining the sand that was promised to spread under the trees. Also a few handicap parking spaces along the road and moving the boulders further inland so cars can park safely along the road,” she advised, adding, “Let’s keep it in its natural state.”