Unity Labour Party (ULP) caretaker for North Leeward, Carlos James says that the government has spent over EC$30 million in the constituency over the past five years.
James, a senator, said, on Sunday, that the redevelopment of Chateaubelair, the only town in the district, will be “the first start” if he is elected to office.
“So when you see we put in the bridge, we put in the jetty, we repair round going to Golden Grove, all of these infrastructure, capital expenditure we put in, we now have to move towards creating the environment where Chateaubelair looks like a town.”
James told the annual ULP consistency conference held on Sunday that an administrative complex in the area where the wharf is located “is not too far-fetched” and he has spoken to the prime minister about it.
“I want to have a banking system in place. I want to have the town board in that facility, the Customs, the post office and any other government departments in the constituency. I want them placed there so that we can have the administrative complex for North Leeward right there in front of that jetty,” he said.
James is likely to be conformed as the ULP candidate for North Leeward and is expected to challenge the incumbent, Roland “Patel” Matthews, who is hoping for a third consecutive five-year term.
Matthews defeated James by 12 votes in 2015, when James made his first attempt to return the seat to the ULP fold.
James said that the government has completed every rehabilitation project needed to be done in the constituency over the last five years, with only the Chateaubelair fisheries complex and the agri-depot to be done.
“I am already looking at the idea of having the Chateaubelair Fisheries Complex refurbished and the building next to it … to put in place a packaging plant where we can now bring fresh fish and seafood right into Chateaubelair, store it at the fisheries complex and we use the two-storey complex for the Audains as a packaging plant. We can export fish right here in Chateaubelair and in North Leeward.”
He said that the government has to rehabilitate the agri depot so that farmers can establish a cooperative to do agro processing
“All of these things we have to put in place. There is remedial work that we have done but we have to now move in the direction of creating opportunities for employment and wealth creation for our farmers, our fisher folk and our unemployed persons here in the constituency,” he said.
James said he knows there are outstanding farm roads to be completed, adding that there is already monies for them, including from the Kuwaiti Fund.
Some of the roads to be repaired are those in Rose Hall and Hermitage in Spring Village.
“These roads are important for farmers to travel to and to bring their produce out. They are very important to our economy,” he said, adding that roads will also be done under the government’s Pedestrian Access for Village Enhancement (PAVE) programme.
He said there would be sporting facilities for Rose Hall and Rose Bank and completion of the playing field in Troumaca.
James said that government will not be able to complete all of these projects in one or two years but he was asking constituents to work with him, give him the mandate so that he could continue “the work and the great progress of the ULP” in North Leeward.