St. Joseph is in a state of decay, and MP Dale Marshall’s first task when he regains his seat will be to fix that.
Marshall, who was confident that he would be successful in the next elections constitutionally due this year, said that as such he was not concerned about the tactics of his opponent, Dennis Holder, who he alleged been handing out vouchers on behalf of the Constituency Council.
The MP, who said he had pretty much covered his constituency, with only one or two places left to either visit or revisit, said he was concluding campaigning and getting ready for his party’s mass meeting in the City tonight.
He said he believed his first term helped to solidify his position in the constituency and that was why the people rewarded him with a second term, but with his party in Opposition, the development that would have been ongoing was halted.
“Unfortunately, in the last term St. Joseph has been completely neglected by the Government thereby depriving any Democratic Labour Party potential candidate of any opportunity to say that the party is interested in this constituency,” he said.
“There are a lot of plans for myself and for Barbados Labour Party that we still have in store for St. Joseph and rural Barbados and those plans have been well received.”
However, the MP stated that there were constituents anxious to see the BLP returned to power and his first task would be to stop the neglect in his constituency.
“St. Joseph has been neglected by the Democratic Labour Party over the last five year and the first thing I need to do is remedy that. That neglect has manifested itself largely in the decay of the infrastructure of St. Joseph and that has to be turned around, employment opportunities have been diminished and that has to be turned around; Bathsheba is a viable tourism component and that also has to be turned around.
“So I first have to arrest that decay, that decline. But going forward, I want to be fairly careful about unveiling my own plans for St. Joseph, but there are elements of it that require completion now. Certainly the civics centre at Tamarind Hall; the clinic, construction of the clinic there, construction of a day care centre. St. Joseph is not well served by day care… we need to have a public day care facility,” he remarked.
Cheques for constituents
Even as he continues to reach his last few districts campaigning, Marshall said it had been brought to his attention that his DLP opponent was handing out vouchers to the needy on behalf of the St. Joseph Constituency Council, and while he was not opposed to his constituents receiving assistance he believed there were other entities already doing so, and far from that, Holder was not a member of the council.
“I cannot understand on what basis my opponent is able to hand out cheques, hand deliver cheques to constituents on the basis that the Constituency Council is giving them service. It is clear to me that this is an effort to align the efforts of my opponent with the work of the St. Joseph Constituency Council, but what is new? I am not surprised with it, I was expecting it,” said Marshall, who made it clear that his party was still not in favour of the councils since there were other Government departments that did such social work.
Calling it an “obvious political ploy”, he said he was confident of his position in regaining the seat. (LB)