There are new questions regarding a recent ‘Open Letter’ to the government complaining about the effect of noise pollution on Rodney Bay residents.
Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire first questioned who wrote the document, declaring it a political statement based on its wording.
Hilaire felt the letter should have identified the individual who wrote it.
On Wednesday, a press release from ‘The Rodney Bay Residents Association’ also raised questions about the letter and its authorship.
“We would have preferred that the person had taken credit as “A resident of Rodney Bay” rather than “The residents of Rodney Bay,” the press release, reproduced below, stated.
PRESS RELEASE: We the residents of Rodney Bay have embraced the growth of Rodney Bay into a Tourism Hub; with all the attendant services such development has spawned.
We have also welcomed the advent of bars and restaurants as an adjunct to said growth, because we believe holistically, it’s a good thing, adding charm and an opportunity for nighttime entertainment for residents and tourists alike to sample the cuisine and night life our island has to offer.
However, we must find a way to peacefully coexist, and for this to happen there must be mutual respect! Business owners should be able to make a profit, while allowing the residents to enjoy their homes safely in peace and tranquility.
Over the years we have held several meetings with bar owners and the police – In 2019 at the Coco Palm Conference room, in December 2022, at the Bay Gardens Conference facility with the Parliamentary Representative, and more recently in July 2023 with ACP Lamontagne, Inspector Henry, and residents of Reduit, Rodney Bay and Cap Estate in attendance.
At our July 2023 meeting, suggestions were made, through the Police officers present, that the Police Commissioner amend the permits to play loud music by inserting Decibel limits, which if he/she did, would assist the police, because loud music without defining a decibel ceiling is subjective.
Such action would not be without precedent as enshrined within our Public Health Act which regulates noise pollution, are noise limits specified in decibels to be observed during both the night and day. We have also committed to supply at least two decibel meters to the police.
We distributed to several people, including Our Parliamentary Representative, ACP Lamontagne and Inspector Henry a copy of a report commissioned by the Government of Saint Lucia, compiled by The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
This report dated November 2003 and entitled “Planning Standards for the Rodney Bay area” is a comprehensive report which dealt with, among other matters, noise and made suggestions on how to have bars, restaurants and entertainment outfits co-exist, recognizing that the area is a mixed-use Community.
In August, we, the residents of Reduit/Rodney Bay and environs, wrote to our Parliamentary Representative and the Commissioner of Police attaching our petition signed by over 300 households. To date not even an acknowledgement has been received.
While we do not know who the author of the recently circulated open letter to the Government of Saint Lucia is, we would have preferred that the person had taken credit as “A resident of Rodney Bay” rather than “The residents of Rodney Bay” because we view the issue of noise as non-political.
It is therefore unfortunate that it is this letter which has solicited a video response from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Dr. Ernest Hilaire.
It is even more curious that the letter should prompt a press release from the Saint Lucia Labour party, yet our collective attempts to have our voices heard, on this issue of noise over the years, have been met with total silence and a complete ignoring of the issue.
Following are copies of the documents submitted to the Commissioner of Police and the Parliamentary Representative which include:
- Cover letters from Reduit/Rodney Bay Residents
- Reduit/Rodney Bay Residents Petition
- Section, dealing with Noise, of the report commissioned by the Government of Saint Lucia produced by United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Dated November 2003 entitled “Planning Standards for the Rodney Bay area”