Ahead of the May 24 general election, St Lucy incumbent Denis Kellman has released something of a constituency manifesto in which he is promising that if he is re-elected
for a sixth straight term, he will fix more roads, repair more houses and refurbish and open for viewing the birthplace
of late Prime Minister and National Hero Errol Walton Barrow.
In a statement issued in response to concerns raised by residents who spoke candidly to Barbados TODAY yesterday about the need for change in the rural riding, Kellman, through his Constituency Office, sought to explain that the past five years have been difficult; therefore since his appointment as Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development in 2013, he was only able to respond in a limited way to problems of flooding, roads and housing in St Lucy.
“Unfortunately, remedying some of these issues has been difficult in the face of scarce financial resources. Nonetheless, a number of houses have been repaired to the satisfaction of individual homeowners; wells have also been sunk to alleviate flooding; [and] a number of road repairs have also been completed or are ongoing.
“These include the road connecting Alexandria and Josey Hill, Peterses, Little Bay, Rockfield, Maycocks and Gilkes,” the statement said, adding that “many roads have also been upgraded”.
Kellman, whose grip on the traditional Democratic Labour Party (DLP) stronghold appears to be slipping, also promised residents that he had either acquired, or was about to acquire, new housing lots at Colleton, Cluffs, Coconut Hall, Cottage and Lowlands.
The DLP has had a firm grip on St Lucy since it became a single-member constituency in 1971, losing it just once – in 1981 when Roy Brathwaite of the Barbados Labour Party was victorious – before quickly regaining the seat in 1986 after just one term.
In fact, the DLP had dominated the seat even during the days of double-member constituencies, sweeping St Lucy in three straight elections beginning in 1956.
Its dominance has continued with Kellman, who has won five straight terms and is in search of a sixth.
However, residents say what once seemed impossible could very well become a reality in two weeks time, as there are signs that the Barbados Labour Party’s Peter Phillips is breathing down Kellman’s neck.
Be that as it may, Kellman is promising to push community tourism in a big way by embarking on the much needed upgrade of Barrow’s birthplace, which has been overrun with bush and has been allowed to remain a sight for sore eyes despite the unbroken rein over the
past decade of the party that Barrow founded.
Kellman is also promising to implement planned projects at Hope, Harrison’s Point, Cove Bay, Archers Bay, Little Bay, Stroude Bay, Lambert Hill and Checker Hall.
“Action in this area will combine with the work already under way to enhance the linkages being built between international transport and community tourism at the parish level. Needless to say, such projects will create significant job opportunities, particularly for young persons,” the statement said, while also highlighting agriculture and renewable energy as areas for priority attention.
It explained that following the recent launch of the Rural Development Commission’s Eat What You Grow campaign, there were plans for the establishment of a new agicultural college at Hope “to provide additional opportunities for young persons, in particular, to gain valuable practical knowledge to further positively impact our local agriculture nexus”.
Kellman also said St Lucy, which already has a solar park at Trents, can look forward to the start of the wind project at Lamberts later this year.