Doctor wants to represent BLP in St Philip North
A St Philip born medical doctor is throwing her hat into the ring for a chance to challenge the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) Michael Lashley for St Philip North in the next general election.
Dr Sonia Browne has been making a case for the nomination as the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate. If she gets the nod, Dr Browne will be the third BLP candidate in the constituency in the straight elections, after George Griffith in 2008 and Indar Weir in 2013, both of whom lost handsomely to Lashley.
However, the 44-year-old Dr Browne told Barbados TODAY she was not intimidated by the incumbent and felt she was well placed to overcome the massive margin by which he won the last poll.
“I do not think that Lashley is doing a good job. From where I sit as a community medical practitioner I have my ears to the ground. I get to see many of the people of the constituency and many of them are disgruntled over their inability to find jobs. We have a neighbour in Blades Hill #3 whose roof was blown off during Hurricane Tomas and she never got it replaced. There are other people in Blades Hill #3 who are complaining about their needs not being addressed,” Dr Browne stated.
The doctor appeared to have a clear idea of what she would like to achieve should she get the nod, telling Barbados TODAY she would concentrate on reducing high unemployment among the youths of Blades Hill and Bayfield, the plight of the boys on the block and the lack of parental care of delinquent fathers
Dr Browne, who was born in Blades Hill #3, St Philip and educated at the St Michael School, the Lodge School and the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies, identified these areas of concern during an interview at her medical clinic next door to the house in which she was born.
Browne, who has been practicing medicine for the past 19 years, said she would like to assist young women who did not receive support for their children.
She cited a case where a young mother of four who attends her clinic is owed $4,000 by a delinquent dad without any hope of ever receiving this money.
“ I would like to assist women who cannot get child support for their children. There are many patients who attend my medical clinic and would have gained degrees in Psychology and Social Work and are willing to lend a hand in assisting these unfortunate women. I have spoken to some of them and they are ready to come on board.
“I think I want to lend a fresh ear because I am in a unique position to assist. I know a lot of the constituents of St Philip North personally. I grew up with some of them and I have lived to see their children grow up. I have a deep love for Blades Hill and the parish of St Philip as a whole. I have already given back something to the community of my birth, but I would like to give back more,” Dr Browne said.
She charged that Blades Hill was “on the map of crime” following the murder and burial of one of its residents in a shallow grave in the district.
She told Barbados TODAY that during her practice she came in contact with many of the young men who have sustained injuries during disputes, and argued that in many cases these young men had become frustrated after lengthy periods of unemployment.
“From where I sit I come in contact with a lot of young men and women that have issues. Many of them are not working, a lot of young men from Bayfield and Blades Hill were employed but they were laid off and are still at home,” the practitioner said.
In the 2013 general election, Lashley secured 4,053 votes for the DLP, compared with 1,974 for Weir of the BLP.
It was not immediately clear if anyone else had expressed an interest in representing the BLP in the next election.