A large crowd gathered at the Valley Virgin Gorda on 11 May to celebrate the campaign launch of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Candidate for the Ninth District, Elton “All Out” Sprauve.
Mr. Sprauve who addressed the gathering following prestigious endorsements from incumbent Ninth District Representative, Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, and Chair of the Virgin Islands Party, Hon. Julian Fraser, laid out his vision for the District.
Mr. Sprauve thanked Hon. O’Neal for his endorsement and the faith: “I have the opportunity to take the baton from you the stalwart and move this Territory forward,” the Candidate said looking at Hon. O’Neal.
In explaining why he chose the VIP, Mr. Sprauve noted that he has respect for the Party which has remained true to its foundation, and now has fresh new leadership and new vigour. “You can’t be up here and know the pulse of the people you have to come down,” Mr. Sprauve said as he announced that he has ears to the ground and understand the issues of the people of the District. In elaborating on his decision to run, the candidate said the move was simple: “I am running to fight for you the people of Virgin Gorda and Anegada.”
One of the issues that the VIP candidate promised to address regarded the very important issue of land ownership. Mr. Sprauve also talked about implementing policies that would foster home ownership in the District and stated that comments that the VIP was anti-development were false: “Don’t bother with the naysayers, the naysayers may say we are anti-government, that we are anti-development but you know what we are for — the true and genuine development that empowers our people not marginalise them… Yes we encourage foreign direct investment, being fully aware of our limited resources and our inability to develop by ourselves, so we are not anti-development.”
He added that there must be a balance between what is given away and what is received. To this effect he said: “let me say this emphatically, however, it is quite simple that there must be a balance, a balance between what we give-away and what we receive. And let me say this, we cannot, we absolutely cannot give away our beaches, we absolutely cannot give up our waterbed rights, we absolutely cannot give up our seabed rights, we absolutely cannot close down our fishermen grounds.” Mr. Sprauve declared that the Territory cannot grant free entitlement without the investor giving back contributions in ways of scholarships and to the infrastructure they use. He said that once this is done everybody will win.
The aspiring Ninth District Representative, also stated that the sister island of Anegada was abandoned and it is time that Anegada is seriously attended to. One of his concerns is that Anegada has two police officers and no resident doctor.
Some of the changes he plans to make include separating the Bregado Flax Educational Center’s primary and secondary divisions, and putting the suggested extra school year at the primary level.
He will ensure that a deep water port be built and that smaller cruiseships be invited to visit that port so that the businesses on Virgin Gorda can benefit from increased tourist arrivals.
The four Virgin Islands Party At Large candidates — Sharie de Castro, Dr. Karl Dawson, Irene Penn-O’Neal, and Charmaine Rosan-Bunbury also addressed the crowd.