Independent candidate Leroy McClean has appealed to voters in St John to elect him come May 24, while insisting that he is “the best person” to carry on late Prime Minister and National Hero Errol Barrow’s legacy in that rural riding.
The former Barrow protégé’ and Wakefield Tenantry resident recently lost his bid to carry the incumbent Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) banner in St John, which has been a stronghold of the DLP since 1958 when Barrow was first elected its representative.
However, McClean, who remains a card-carrying member of the DLP despite going independent, remains hopeful that he will be given the nod by voters in next week’s highly anticipated poll.
“Given my vast and varied experience and my commitment to serving the people of Barbados, I am the best person to carry on the Barrow legacy through strong, effective representation for the people of St John. I therefore humbly ask you to vote for Leroy McClean on May 24, 2018,” he said in an election circular in which he formally introduced himself to constituents.
McClean, an ex-Consul General to Toronto and former chairman of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, also outlined plans for the establishment of an agro-processing facility in St John, which he said had the potential to become the bread basket of Barbados.
“In return for the millions of dollars spent by Government to compensate the CLICO policyholders and investors, the CLICO plantations should be acquired by the Government. Under proper management, these plantations could be brought back into full production to help to significantly reduce our massive food import bill,” he said.
McClean, whose slogan for the May 24 election is Vote Leroy McClean – The Best Choice – From St John for St John, is also promising that if elected, he will give urgent attention to several matters, including road rehabilitation.
He also plans to construct a new multi-purpose facility at Gall Hill to house a community centre, library and provide space for small businesses.
Such a facility, he said, would provide opportunities for the development of an entrepreneurial class in St John and transform Gall Hill into a mini town centre.
Without giving any idea of funding, the independent candidate also said he would relocate the St John Primary School “as a matter of priority to allow for expansion of the physical plant for better teaching facilities and room for recreational and extracurricular activities”.
With respect to public transportation, he said “this could be remedied through pressure to have a better equipped and more efficient Transport Board operation and the issuing of more public service vehicle permits to service St John”.
McClean also suggested that in addition to the existing routes, there should be a cross-country service to make it easier for school children and other commuters to get to west coast.
“Since much of St John falls within Zone 1 or part of the area designated as a national park, this restricts the extent to which there could be housing and commercial development in the parish. There must therefore be a comprehensive survey of the parish to determine what land is available for additional housing,” he contended.
Also contesting the St John seat are George Pilgrim of the DLP, Charles Griffith of the Barbados Labour Party, Cherone Martindale of Solutions Barbados, Hudson Griffith of the United Progressive Party and Derek Went of the Barbados Integrity Movement.