Discussions for Prosperity continue tonight in Sandy Point

(PRESS SEC) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris and Cabinet Colleagues will update citizens and residents tonight on how the Team Unity Government is pushing forward its Prosperity Agenda to improve St. Kitts and Nevis’ quality of life, stimulate economic growth, create opportunities for all, and ensure a competitive and sustainable future for our country.

The next Discussions for Prosperity Town Hall Meeting will take place at the Sandy Point Community Centre tonight (Thursday, August 11th) from 7:30pm.

Member of Parliament for St. Christopher #5 (Sandy Point and Fig Tree), the Honourable Shawn Richards, who is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, will inform the public on the further progress of his Ministries.

On Monday, July 25th, when the Minister of Education spoke at the Discussions for Prosperity Town Hall Meeting in Newtown, he said the government had spent $5 million on building a temporary structure for the Basseterre High School, “to ensure that the students are comfortable.” Minister Richards added that the government has allocated $10 million to build a brand new Basseterre High School and that the Ministry of Sustainable Development has, at the government’s request, recommended possible sites for the permanent campus. Cabinet then forwarded the recommendations to a committee representing various stakeholders charged with overseeing the finalization of a site for the new school. After reviewing the recommendations from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, the committee identified another piece of land, which was added to the shortlist of sites.

A comprehensive review by the committee of all six potential sites – which included the previous location of the Basseterre High School – identified various weaknesses and threats (land size being too small; the need to relocate mechanics who are working in one area; proximity to the Royal Basseterre Valley National Park, which is an area that was established to protect the Basseterre Aquifer; distance from the heart of Basseterre and transportation costs, etc., and – in the case of the initial Basseterre High School location – the psychological impact on the students who would be asked to move back to a site that is known to have environmental issues). The committee then ranked the sites according to their strengths.

Hon. Richards informed the public on July 25th that, because several weaknesses and threats identified by the committee were of a technical nature, the Cabinet decided to put another committee in place. This other committee is comprised of water experts, who will give the Ministers of Government technical guidance. The technical committee has since completed a couple of reports (one that offered a technical assessment of each site, and another that ranked all of them). Cabinet forwarded this information to Sustainable Development and, as of July 25th, Minister Richards was awaiting a follow-up report from the Permanent Secretary of Sustainable Development, Ms. Beverly Harris.

Tonight, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, who is the Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce, and the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, who is the Minister of Agriculture, Health, Health Insurance, Human Settlements, Community Development, Gender Affairs, Social Services, Land and Cooperatives, will also provide key updates and highlights on the work they have done 18 months into the change-making Team Unity administration.

ZIZ Television (Channel 5) and Radio (95.9, 96.1, 96.3 and 96.9 FM) will provide live coverage. The event will be streamed online via www.zizonline.com/tv/channel-5/. Members of the viewing and listening audience at home and abroad will be able to phone in during the question-and-answer segment by dialing either 1(869) 465-2650 or 1(718) 878-5592.

The previous two Discussions for Prosperity Town Hall Meetings, which were held at the Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School in Molineux on Monday, July 18th and at the Newtown Community Centre on Monday, July 25th, had huge turnouts that filled the rooms to capacity. Tonight’s town hall meeting is expected to be just as, if not more, successful based on the momentum coming out of the previous town halls. The Team Unity updates were well received by supporters and the public in general, who are expected to come out again tonight in large numbers for another highly anticipated dialogue with the Ministers.

So far, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris has provided updates at the town hall meetings along with the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards; Senior Minister and Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Vance Amory; the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd; Senator the Honourable Vincent Byron, Jr., and Senator the Honourable Wendy Phipps.