It has recently been on the receiving end of much public criticism over its handling of the April 2014 termination of over 100 of its employees.
However, there was absolutely no sign of those recent hostilities today as General Manager Keith Neblett warmly welcomed members of the media into the NCC’s Codrington, St Michael headquarters for the launch of a special exhibition marking this island’s 50th anniversary of political independence.
What’s more, Neblett is hoping that both his current staff and members of the general public can have a greater appreciation of the significant contribution made by the NCC to this island’s development.
“One of the first groups of people we want to bring here is our workers. I think it is for our workers to come and see exactly what we have done and have an appreciation for where we have come from to where we are at right now,” said Neblett, while acknowledging that the work of his staff was not always appreciated.
“I mean they go out there and labour everyday and sometimes they don’t always get that type of respect for their contribution and beautification of the country,” he said.
The NCC is tasked with maintaining historic buildings, national monuments; and the country’s recreational areas such as public parks and public gardens and currently offers a wide range of services, including lifeguard and ranger, commercial and maintenance.
Neblett said he was also aiming to have Barbadians take greater advantage of the island’s recreational facilities, outside of bank holidays and national or private events.
In this regard, the general manager said the NCC was currently in discussion with one of the island’s telecommunications providers on equipping the national recreational spaces with free Wifi.
“Why can’t we develop a programme in the parks and encourage the kids to come in there and let them go and have a treasure hunt with their phone and learn something at Farley Hill, learn something at Folkestone, learn something at Queen’s Park. When Government is investing that money in our parks, we have to find a way of getting them to go there and use it,” Neblett said.
The exhibition, which looks at how the agency has transitioned over the years, is due to close at the end of the month. However, it may go longer if the public’s response is favourable. [email protected]