A Christ Church East couple is challenging an account given by Minister of the Environment and Drainage Dr Denis Lowe in Parliament Wednesday to the effect that his private residence was recently defaced by supporters of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), amid the hype surrounding last Saturday’s national March of Disgust.
Making his contribution to the 2017/2018 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure debate, Lowe reported that a “huge” sign, “laden with profanities”, was erected at his home, which boldly declared “Fed Up”, in keeping with the Opposition’s slogan “Step up if yuh fed up”.
In strongly denouncing the action, Lowe, who is the Member of Parliament for Christ Church East, had also warned that he was prepared to defend his property and person from any perceived threat.
However, while taking responsibility for placing the sign on Lowe’s gate last week, returning nationals Michael and Barbara Bryan, who are in their 60s, Thursday gave Barbados TODAY a completely different account of what had transpired at their MP’s home.
In fact, the retired couple said they were both “shocked” and “upset” after hearing the version of the story given by Lowe’s in Parliament on Wednesday, while making it clear that their action was neither politically motivated nor was there any profanity written on the sign that was left on the minister’s front gate.
The Bryans, who have been back home since 2003 but did not participate in the two subsequent elections in 2008 and 2013, said they were not affiliated with any political party.
However, they said they were motivated to mount the “small” sign on Lowe’s property in a last-ditch attempt to get his attention after years of complaining to him about overgrown access roads, poor lighting, poor garbage collection and drainage woes affecting them and other residents in the Chancery Lane community.
“I did not put the note there anonymously. I gave our address, asking him to please come see us and I also followed up with a note at the Constituency Office and spoke to the woman there. So I expected him to come and see us and do something about this. Instead, he used it as a grandstanding issue in Parliament, saying he would take any steps necessary to protect his property because I trespassed,” the wife said, while accusing Lowe of being disingenuous and of deliberately misrepresenting the facts in order to gain political mileage.
The Bryans, who live in Fourth Avenue, Chancery Lane, said the general neglect of their area has been going on for several years. However, they complained to Barbados TODAY that none of their appeals to their parliamentary representative had been answered.
“We never get our streets cleaned and we have made several complaints to Mr Lowe’s constituency office. He is our representative and we expect something to happen and nothing has happened. We do not have a streetlight and we have been begging for one for the last 12 years. We have a safety issues because of the bush and we are concerned because it is so dark down here,” Barbara said.
The couple, who have opted to spend their golden years in Barbados after retirement in the United Kingdom, said that the situation was especially vexing, given that the streets in the nearby avenue in which Lowe resides, were in pristine condition.
“The 1st, 2nd and 3rd avenues all get cleared regularly, but the fourth gets neglected,” the woman claimed, while adding that they were forced to pull their own pockets to clear overgrown vegetation.
She emphasized that while Government workers were often seen cleaning the drains and clearing the streets in Lowe’s avenue, “we had our power lines come down due to vegetation overgrowth, which caused a power surge and damage to appliances.
“All of this happened after calls and urgent emails were sent,” she added.
The frustrated retiree also pointed out to Barbados TODAY a number of electrical poles which were leaning precariously in Fourth Avenue, Chancery Lane North, which is still under development, with a number of vacant lots.