ZIZ News — While Dr. Vance Gilbert was full of praise for the work done in constituency number seven by the Labour Government, he challenged the Dr. Denzil Douglas-led administration to do more.
According to Dr. Gilbert, the people of number seven had been abandoned by their elected representative, Dr. Timothy Harris. Despite this, he noted that the government had not neglected the area.
Dr. Gilbert added however, that in moving about the community there were several areas he had identified which required the government’s urgent attention.
“Since I have become the candidate, in my going around there have been a number of issues that I have come across and while there are those who were sent to represent the people and have abandoned the people, I have recognized that we have issues in constituency number seven that we have to deal with. And so I want to lay the issues at the feet of the government, I want to ensure that the government understands the needs of the people and the government recognize that they must respond to the needs of the people,” he said.
The SKNLP Candidate identified several areas for concern, including the lack of permanent employment. To address this specific issue, he called on government to seriously consider constituency seven as the location for a major development project.
“The people are saying that they want to see a major development project in number seven. People of number seven are saying ‘we are jealous of number six’. You have Kittitian Hill and all kinds of things happening down there, we want things happening in number seven. The people of number seven are saying that and that is what we want to see Mr. Prime Minister.”
Meantime Dr. Gilbert called on the government to work at creating housing options for lower income individuals.
Gilbert said while the NHC houses are very reasonably priced, with monthly payments as little as $671, they are still beyond the reach of those people who simply cannot afford to pay that much.
“We come from an area in the country where sometimes poverty might be a little higher than other areas and I listened to you when you said that the cost of the house was $125,000 and it would cost six hundred plus dollars per month. I am telling you that I have some persons in the constituency who are in need of housing and would not be able to afford six hundred plus dollars a month; that is the reality. You as a government need to respond to the needs of the people. Some sort of subsidy or some other type of housing programme must be looked at so that these persons who are in need of a house, who are in need of assistance must be helped. I do not want to see anybody in number seven living in no old shack. Some people just can’t afford it and so we need to find a way to help them.”
In response, Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Earl Asim Martin has said that the government understands Dr. Gilbert’s concerns.
Responding specifically to his comments regarding more affordable housing, the Deputy Prime Minister said government appreciated that something would have to be done to ensure everyone across the federation has adequate shelter.
Dr. Martin noted, however, that progressive steps have been made, through government initiatives, to reduce some of the obstacles on the path to home ownership.