Joy in giving back
Increasing the number of sporting facilities and housing solutions is high on the agenda of the Barbados Labour Party candidate for St. James Central.
More immediately though, said Kerrie Symmonds, who will be facing the polls for the third time, he and some members of the private sector have teamed up to “secure” and subsequently erect bus shelters for the residents of Arch Hall and Bennetts in St. Thomas to shield them from the rain and sun.
He shared some of his plans with Barbados TODAY via telephone.
“St. James Central is a fairly new constituency, created only in 2003 but it really lacked sporting facilities. It is also a very powerful catchment area for the playing of sports in every discipline. In football you had the Redman Village area and once I got the Bagatelle field sorted out and floodlit the team, which at the start was a Third Division team, went to Premier League within two years.
“You have cricketers in St. Thomas and St. James: Ryan Hinds, Phillo Wallace, Courtney Browne, Desmond Haynes, Franklyn Stephenson, [several] of them who come from the St. James Central area and who would have played cricket for both Barbados and the West Indies… There’s a whole heap of cricketing support in that community but we didn’t have a lot of supporting infrastructure.
“For example, at the Good Shepherd School we don’t have a proper playing field, even today and I had to get a pavilion at Hoyte’s Village, which is perhaps the area that is most central to all the cricketing activity in the constituency. When I went there the fellas were still changing in the bush.
“There’s a strong demand for sporting facilities and we had worked hard on getting a few things put in place. … [Things] had been done but then we then needed to try and expand as much as possible. There are things like hard courts, one was put into Fitts Villaage and we want to put one in Hoyte’s Village because they’re fellas who want to play basketball,” the candidate said.
He staged a six-a-side football tournament with a cash purse of $1,000 in which 12 teams participated.
The attorney-at-law who has been canvassing for “a few months” now officially opened the branch office, located in Hoyte’s Village, on December 29. The event doubled as a Christmas social.
“I’m anxious to return the constituency to a path of development after what has been a five-year break on a number of areas of development that we had been making significant strides on. There were improved sporting facilities, a young development and training programme and one for finding housing solutions within the constituency.
“The pride of my period of representation was the fact that we got 80 people 80 house spots within the constituency – that’s 80 from the St. James Central constituency, in the four and a half years I was there got … land,” he said.
During his canvass, he said that residents shared their concerns on development issues, inclusive of proper roads.
“It’s been very encouraging. I find that it is consistent with the public opinion poll. I’ve canvassed substantially . . . every major district has been covered and if not by me … by my team of canvassers. We have a very widespread organisation… No stone is being left unturned,” he said.
Symmonds represented the suburban area from 2003 until 2008. (DS)