The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for St John Charles Griffith has agreed wholeheartedly with a suggestion made by his St Joseph counterpart Dale Marshall that the only constituency that is possibly more neglected than his own, in terms of road infrastructure, is St John.
“Other than St John, we [St Joseph] remain the most neglected parish. The road infrastructure across St Joseph has been allowed to deteriorate by the Ministry of Transport and Works. The residents have called and I have called and other members of my team have called, but all we are constantly hearing is that there is no material, absolutely no material. So the situation is just going from bad to worse and the [recent] rainfall just worsens the entire problem,” Marshall had complained to Barbados TODAY late last month.
But while supporting the position taken by the BLP’s incumbent for St Joseph, Griffith was not about to entertain any such complaints from the current Member of Parliament for St John, Mara Thompson.
Back in March, Thompson, in making her contribution to the 2017/2018 Estimates debate in the House of Assembly had pleaded with her own Government for improved transportation and better roads in the rural constituency, while describing the situation as deplorable.
However, Griffith told Barbados TODAY, Thompson, who succeeded her husband late Prime Minister David Thompson as the sitting representative for the area in 2010, should be the last one to complain about the situation.
“She was supposedly the representative for the last seven to eight years the better part of ten years and she has not been able to do a single road in St John or even initiate a single project in St John that would benefit the people in St John,” he said, while echoing her concerns about the inadequate bus service.
“I was in the bus stand recently checking out the situation for myself and I waited for two and a half hours with residents from Bowmanston for a bus. It is shameful,” he said, while pointing out that a proposed private public sector transport initiative for the area has had to be put on hold because “the roads were in such a state that private persons would not put their minibuses on the Martin’s Bay route”.
Griffith also accused Thompson of sitting on a proposal for the construction of a new recreational facility for residents of the rural constituency which has been represented by the ruling Democratic Labour Party in parliament since 1958.
“Can you imagine that a landowner in St John gave the parliamentarian attached to St John a portion of land to be developed for recreational purposes in St John that would take the pressure off Gall Hill, and, almost two years later, nothing has been done with the parcel of land to facilitate the needs of young people in St John,” Griffith said while maintaining that St John, which was previously represented by two former prime ministers, including the country’s founding father Errol Walton Barrow, was in need of better representation.
“St John had a problem almost as acute of those in St Joseph and you heard Dale Marshall speaking about the plight of his constituents, but how many times did you hear the representative of St John speaking on behalf of St John?” Griffith asked.