Defeated Barbados Labour Party candidate for Christ Church South in the 2008 election, Dr. Jerome Walcott, has said that unlike then, people in the constituency were warmer and much more embracing to him in the lead up to the February 21 poll.
Walcott, a former minister of health, is again contesting the election for the same party — with a little more confidence.
“I must say, I have never really had hostility in Christ Church South, Bees or Dees, whoever I canvassed. But this time, the reception has been much warmer, much friendlier than †in 2008,” noted the ex-government minister, who spoke to Barbados TODAY this morning soon after making his deposit to the Treasury.
“In 2008 you felt that people being civil to you most times, they would talk to you. But this time they are much more welcoming, much more inviting you into their house.”
He said he believed that for this election, people wanted to talk because there were suffering and felt the need to discuss it. Walcott, who is running against Minister of Transport and Works, John Boyce, said he was enjoying his canvassing as he witnessed constituents being more open in their views about the Government, most of the comments unfavourable, the BLP candidate claimed.
His plans for Christ Church South, he revealed, were to complete a series of major projects he had “in the works” for Oistins and St. Lawrence Gap in particular, and the constituency in general.
The medical doctor recalled that in addition to the development of the Bay Gardens area at Oistins done under his party, he also had plans to upgrade the fish market, which he said had not been done; build a monument in honour of fisherfolk who died at sea; introduce skills training for the youth; and transform the former Christ Church Hospital site.
His colleague Lynette Eastmond, whose opponent in St. Philip West is Minister of Agriculture, Dr David Estwick, told this newspaper that the constituents were indicating to her that they were going to “kick out” Estwick.
“The people are prepared to give any of us a chance, but when we don’t perform the people are prepared also to kick us out. So I believe on this occasion, they will give my opponent his walking papers and it will give me a chance to represent the constituency of St. Philip West,” the two-time unsuccessful candidate asserted shortly after paying her deposit to the Treasury this morning.
She suggested that there was very few tangible projects to show in the constituency during Estwick’s tenure, with the same applicable to the three ministries — agriculture, economic affairs and health — which he has held.
“Under the Barbados Labour Party, we had started a series of infrastructural projects within the constituency, including roads, infrastructural facilities, house repairs, street lighting, etc.
“We want to continue with that programme,” the former senator and BLP Cabinet member replied when asked what she was pledging to the constituents.
But she is of the opinion that the single most important issue Barbadians talked about was their community.
“And my plan is to focus on community development on three bases: pulling our community together in St. Philip West; developing a business plan for the community and preparing our young people for life,” Eastmond promised. (EJ)†††