(CMR) In Cayman Marl Road exclusive we are able to confirm that planning minister Joey Hew had agreed to delay the implementation of the Builders Law just 2 days before it was to come into force.
The minister met with members of the opposition and approximately 30 contractors earlier today to discuss the Builders Law and various issues facing small contractors as a result of the pending implementation. Opposition members Alva Suckoo (Newlands), Anthony Eden (Savannah) and Ezzard Miller (NS) felt that many of the issues were serious enough to reconsider the fast-approaching implementation.
As a result of some compelling points, the minister has agreed to delay the implementation of the law and will support amendments based on the concerns raised.
This law has taken a long time to get to this point despite receiving unanimous support of the Legislative Assembly under previous planning minister Kurt Tibbetts. The initial process started in 2006 and saw numerous delays before it became law. It was supposed to be implemented in January 2017 but there were further delays. It was to start being enforced on December 1.
The bill took into account construction woes faced by a considerable number of the Islands' residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan that hit the Islands with devastating force in September 2004.
The goal of The “Builder’s Bill” is to help protect people who hire contractors by creating accountability in the construction industry. Once implemented builders and contractors will be licensed in various categories, according to their skills. When hiring a general contractor, the public will know what duties they are licensed to perform. Sub-contractors such as electricians and plumbers are already required to be licensed. The law proposes to license builders and contractors in five categories: general contractor, civil contractor, building contractor, residential contractor, and sub-trades contractor. The bill contains 26 clauses and one schedule.
Suckoo noted his support of this delay:
I am pleased that the Minister has listened to the concerns of the small contractors and has agreed to make amendments to the law. This was a major campaign Issue for me and many of my constituents voiced their concerns to me with regard to certain issues with the law and how it would impact their businesses, I am glad to see that Minister Hew is willing to listen to these concerns.
Photo: Builders Board members, headed by Chairman Mr. Heber Arch (back, center) are l-r: Board Secretary and Director of Planning Haroon Pandohie, Deputy Chairman Mr. S. Thomas (Tommie) Bodden, Mr. Stanley Hill, Mr. Heber G. Arch, Mr. Antoney (Toney) Reid, Mr. Dean D. Scott, Mr. Omar McLean, Mr. Roland Bodden, and Mr. Mervin Smith. (Absent: Mr. Dave Johnston).