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MLA re-issues call for study into root cause of ‘social decline’

Deputy Opposition Leader and Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo is renewing his call for a new study into the root cause of what he called ‘social decline’ in Cayman.

Is another study the answer? Cayman 27 poses that question in this report.

“Times have changed, our society has changed,” said Mr. Suckoo.

Reason enough, said Mr. Suckoo, to justify a new study into the root causes of what he called declining social conditions in Cayman.

“What is the probability that a child is born today in the poor socio-economic strata of society? What is the probability or likelihood that child will move from being poor to middle-class, or even wealthy throughout the course of their lifetime? We can’t answer that question,” said Mr. Suckoo.

He told Cayman 27 previous reports, like the 2006 Yolande Forde report which was largely overlooked, fail to address the issues of today.

“Ten to 15 years ago it was marijuana, these days it’s designer drugs, molly, cocaine, pills, xanax,” said Mr. Suckoo. “What effect are those having on the mindset of our young people, the studies from ten or 15 years ago spoke to marijuana, now marijuana is considered medication.”

Mr. Suckoo’s Caymanian Social Mobility Motion was voted down in the LA back in November.

“In the premier’s words, we don’t need another study,” said Mr. Suckoo.

“Who uses reports anyway? These reports are done but how many people actually sit down and read them,” said Sociologist and UCCI writer-in-residence Dr. Frank McField.

He agreed Cayman must address issues of social decline, but says another study is not the answer.

“Social breakdown in any case has to do with the alienation of the individual or the individuals that are involved in the deviancy. That happens mostly on the family level to begin with, the community level, and then on the school level, on the job level, in the wider community,” said Dr. McField. “It’s not a quick fix.”

Dr. McField told Cayman 27 government should consult those experienced in social re-integration, like himself and community activist Michael Myles.

“We are having the consequences as a result of this withdrawal of people from engagement in the mainstream of our society,” said Dr. McField.

“I think it was just a political one-upmanship when they voted down my motion,” said Mr. Suckoo, who is pushing on in favor of what he called his pro-active approach to ensuring social mobility.

“We have to look at what the barriers are to Caymanians benefiting from all of this and answer the question, who are we developing for? Who are we developing this country for? It has to be for the next generation of Caymanians,” said Mr. Suckoo.

Mr. Suckoo re-issued his call for a study on the heels of concerns raised last week at the Grand Court opening by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, who said three more courtrooms are urgently needed to handle the volume of criminal trials.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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