Montpelier Estates Had Sued Nevis Government
February 16, 2009
Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry cleared the air on the Montpelier Land issue, in a recent interview with Nevis Television, on Friday, February 13th, 2009.
On June 14th, 2005, Mr. James Gaskell of Montpelier Estates sued the Nevis Island Administration, then led by the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) for trespassing. The claim was that his fence was unlawfully removed and that a backhoe was used to remove topsoil from his land. All this was done by the CCM led Government without the consent of Mr. Gaskell.
Premier Parry has indicated that Mr. Gaskell’s land case was not something he did not anticipate. “I knew that this matter was taken to court and that the then Nevis Island Administration had lost the case a few years ago,” he said. He further stated that in court, the land was proven to be owned by Mr. James Gaskell, who also had a deed for the area. However, with clear knowledge of this, that same parcel of land was declared a public footpath by the previous government.
According to Premier Parry, it would have been in the Government’s best interest if the former Administration had acquired the land properly and compensated Mr. Gaskell accordingly. He emphasized that if the right thing had been done then, the present Administration would not have had the issue to deal with now.
Meanwhile, members of the opposition have continued to criticize the acquisition of land in the Government Road area for a community center for the people of Charlestown. “It is quiet odd,” said the Premier, “…that the opposition would find it fit to take one side of an issue and then take another side in the same breath…utter hypocrisy!”
The court ruled against the CCM led administration and in favour of Mr. James Gaskell and in such indicated that Mr. Gaskell should be compensated. However, according to Premier Parry no monies have been paid to Mr. James Gaskell to date.
On Thursday night’s edition of Choice Radio’s talk show, Tell Me, Mr. James Gaskell called in to the program to say that any money that is awarded to him by the Nevis Island Administration would go to the island’s public school feeding program. He stated that it was not about the money, but it was about his constitutional rights.
Over the years, Mr. James Gaskell has made significant contributions to the development of Nevis. The British-born attorney, who calls the island home, has demonstrated his love and commitment to the people and continues to show his appreciation in numerous ways by offering financial assistance to programs that benefit all the people of Nevis.