Member of Parliament for St Michael South East Santia Bradshaw yesterday painted an unpleasantly clear picture of the poverty that eats away at her constituency.
Bradshaw lamented uncomfortable living conditions that some of her constituents in Lower Burney and Dash Valley had to endure.
However, to drive home the point she used Pinelands as an example, making reference to large families cramped in one bedroom housing units but much too poor to find alternative accommodation.
“Sometimes you can find ten to 15 persons living in a one bedroom unit in the Pinelands. I would take you some places in the Pinelands where the conditions under which people live would blow your mind. Many tenants in the Pinelands are challenged by the payment of rents and owe substantial arrears to the National Housing Corporation,” the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) parliamentarian told Barbados TODAY during a visit to Princess Royal Avenue, Pinelands where she met with constituents.
She also talked about young people from broken homes with no one to talk to and called for the intervention of social workers “before the youngsters get known to the criminal justice system”.
“People have told me that there has always been a focus on the Pinelands community. The needs in a densely populated area like the Pinelands are far greater and far exceed the requests I get from outside of the area. You as an individual can never have the resources to deal with the issues of poverty within the Pinelands. Outside Pinelands people tend to have more disposable income. They may own their homes or they may be renting the property,” Bradshaw said.
One of the people seeking the Democratic Labour Party nomination in a bid to unseat the BLP legislator is Rodney Grant who has had a long association with the Pinelands Creative Workshop.
Bradshaw made no mention of Grant during yesterday’s visit, but was quick to point out that she had enjoyed good relations with the community group.
“I would have to admit that the Pinelands Creative Workshop has done some good work within the constituency and further afield in addressing some of the social needs of disadvantaged persons.”
The Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly complained that even though the headquarters of the Sanitation Service Authority was located in her constituency piles of garbage remained uncollected for weeks in some cases, while wells remained unsealed, placing children in danger.