Tuesday, Oct 13, 2015
Planning Department needs more help, says Director

By Hayden Boyce Publisher & Editor in Chief

The Planning Department, which has been the subject of much criticism by developers in recent years, is in dire need of more qualified town planners.
        That’s the view of Director of Planning Clyde Robinson who said that his department has been understaffed and over-worked for quite some time.
        “We definitely need more Town Planners, but especially we need more Belonger Town Planners,” Robinson said. “Since 1995 there has not been a single Belonger who has focused on studying in this area.”
        Investigations by The SUN have revealed that the Planning Department is about to experience a serious staff crisis which could have significant implications for physical development in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Four of the Planning Department key staff’s contracts, all expatriates, will end this year.
        Michele Hue’s contract ends in March 2010. Raquel McGregor’s stint officially ended in January, but she is now working month-to-month. Tshora Hyman’s is on her third contract which ends in June this year and Carla Harrison, the deputy Director of Planning is expected to leave in September, as she will not renew.
        They’ve apparently been asked to stay on to facilitate the transition to local staff who will have to be trained to fill those posts.
        There is a problem, however. Only three Turks and Caicos Islanders are known to be qualified planners. They are Clyde Robinson, and the father and son duo of Oswald Williams and Koriano Williams.
        There is a general feeling, especially among developers, that much of the development in this country is being. And has been, retarded and frustrated by the Planning Department in some way shape or form.
        Robinson did not agree with this, but he conceded that the Planning Department will be under pressure when these four persons leave.
        “Many people do not realise that we went through that period of rapid and major development in the Turks and Caicos Islands with this same group,” he said. “It was not easy at alls.”
Posted Feb 19th 2010

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