There are some areas in which a little initiative as a representative could have made all the difference in East Kingstown, Sen. Luke Browne said Saturday night as he attempted to portray Leader of the Opposition, Arnhim Eustace, as an incompetent parliamentary representative.
Browne also used his address to supporters of his Unity Labour Party at Sion Hill to outline some of the projects he said he has earmarked for the next five years.
He told party supporters that Arnhim Eustace knew that the Sion Hill Government School had the lowest pass rate in Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment this year, but did nothing about it.
“On the other hand, I immediately set out on a focused journey to turn around the situation. I know that many of the students there could not afford extra lessons and that their parents may not be able to help them, so I decided to provide lessons for those children free of cost,” Browne said.
He said the school has a rich history and he will do whatever he could to make sure that its students know that they could go to Grammar School and Girls High School, and other top schools too.
“All they need is a little hope and attention.”
Browne said that when the initiative gets on a sustainable track, he plans to provide help with school-based assessments and other forms of academic support to the students from East Kingstown who attend the Intermediate High School and the West St. George Secondary School.
“Education is an important priority and we will construct, from this starting point, a comprehensive educational programme that will transform the lives of our children, and that would help students who were on course to becoming secondary school dropouts to become University graduates. This constituency will be the envy of the world.”
He said he would like to do some further work on the Sion Hill Clinic.
“This again is another area that demonstrates the failure of Arnhim Eustace as a representative. Mr. Eustace, from his NICE Radio platform, lamented the condition of the Clinic. The reports were carried in the newspapers. But, why didn’t he do something about it?
“By contrast, when we learnt about the condition, we acted to improve the condition of that important healthcare facility. This was through a community self-help project. If we didn’t take the initiative, nothing would have been done,” Browne said.
“We hope to do more work there and one of the necessary things is to fix the access road to the Clinic.”
On the issue of roads, Browne used his speech to “urge the Prime Minister, as the Minister of Transport and Works, to complete the road in the Plan, to work on the road in Arrowroot Flat in Dorsetshire Hill where we toured, to work on the road in Short Cut, Sion Hill Village, and to deal with roads in Roseau-Walvaroo, Murray’s Village and Rockies.
“The strip of road leading to Sion Hill Bay also calls out for some attention, along with roads in other areas that I am prepared to identify,” he said.
He said he expects work on the Roseau Recreational Park to begin as early as Monday morning.
“The plans have been drawn up and a contractor has been identified. I look forward to the completion of that project. I have also identified a piece of land in Cane Garden where we could put a playground for the children in that community.”
Browne mentioned that during the 2010 campaign, he promised to secure the installation of streetlights on the strip of road between Roseau and Sion Hill Bay, “which was a dark hole and a haven of all kinds of undesirable activities.
“I have delivered on that promise,” he said, adding that there are many other things that he plans to do over the next five years.
Among these, he said he would like to set up committees in the various communities of the constituency that will have local responsibilities.
“The work towards this goal has already begun,” he told party supporters.
Browne said he would also like to
organise an exchange programme for young people in the constituency, including people who are unemployed.
“The plan is to take them to Dominica next year for Creole Festival. On that trip, we will also see if we get the opportunity to participate in the rebuilding of that beautiful sister nation that produced my mother.”
He also told the gathering that he plans to set up a local employment agency that works in conjunction with the Labour Department, to help with training and job placement for young people in the constituency.
Browne also said he plans to continue an expansion of Luke’s Kids Club, with a broader mandate that includes after-school programmes, sports clubs and academics, and even adult education programmes that complement what is already being offered by the government.
Over the next five years, he will also address the security concerns of Cane Garden residents and in other communities, Browne said.