If Barbados Labour Party (BLP) incumbent Jeffrey Bostic gets his way, Speedbird House on Independence Square, which formerly housed offices for British Airways, as well as several buildings along Carlisle Bay could soon be converted into hotels.
Speaking against the backdrop of the stalled Hyatt Centric project on Bay Street, which is currently the subject of litigation brought by social activist David Comissiong against the $100 million multi-storey resort for environmental and nationalistic reasons, Bostic said it was also his plan “to get some people from Bridgetown into the Pom Marine Institute, so that by the time these projects come on stream, they will have a pool of workers who are au fait with the area”.
Bostic, who is seeking re-election on May 24, addressed a BLP spot meeting in Wellington Street, The City last night during which he released his mini-manifesto for the area.
“I also have a vision of transforming Baxters Road and Nelson Street into cultural centres by making them more attractive, thereby bringing more business into those communities from visitors, and I want to start by holding an Old Year’s Night party in one of those streets,” the retired lieutenant colonel said.
While suggesting that Bridgetown has become more aesthetically pleasing in recent years, he was adamant that more needs to be done to create employment and other opportunities for city dwellers.
“Government has not capitalized on the World Heritage Site designation enough. Bridgetown needs its own tour company, employing people who live in Bridgetown, that will be better equipped to act as tour guides than those who come from other parts of the country.
“Instead of debating whether we should move Nelson’s statue, we should try to profit financially from it. We should market it by emphasizing the fact it is older than the statue in the UK, and sell miniature replicas of it,” he added.
During his address, the City incumbent also lamented the fact there were no skills training centres in The City, but said he intended to help both the young and old in Bridgetown.
“I launched a mentorship programme but so far I have not really had the resources to push it. Ideally it will focus on children between the ages of five and eight years, and I want to get the churches involved so that by the time these children reach their teens, they are properly grounded in terms of their conduct and mindset. I also want to create a centre where the elderly can come together and enjoy themselves in their retirement years.”
The BLP spokesman, who is confident of victory at the polls, said residents would get access to natural gas once he is re-elected to office.
He also promised to correct the fact that “very few homes are connected to the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant, even those in its immediate vicinity in Chapman Lane, Emmerton and Lakes Folly”.