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Oistins upgrade: ‘No complaints but spread the help’

by Shanna Moore
3 min read
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While shop owners in Oistins are expressing general satisfaction with the work being done to beautify the Bay Garden ahead of the T20 World, at least one vendor has pleaded to the government for attention on their side of the strip.

“I love what they are doing with the place,” said Jennifer Roberts, who operates a pastry stall at the car park of the famous Granny’s eatery in the tiny shopping plaza at the eastern end of the town.

“I want them to do something to this side of Oistins. They are only doing over by Bay Gardens but the shops over here need painting as well. You can’t do one side and not the next,” added the vendor.

Under her dilapidated tent, the vendor, who had been selling pastry in Oistins for nearly 30 years told Barbados TODAY that her tent “needs help”.

“Look at all the holes,” she declared. “They are paving the car park but apart from that they haven’t said anything about beautifying this side. The shops over here could take some painting as well.”

Earmarked as one of the Men’s T20 World Cup fan zones, inviting additional visitors to watch the matches, Oistins Bay Garden is currently benefiting from upgrades totalling nearly $5 million.

The improvements include better lighting, a repaved parking lot, better drainage, an improved stage area and beach beautification. The 32-shop village is also set to receive a facelift with each shop being repainted, and new tents for the seating areas.

Despite her calls for inclusion, Roberts praised the work that has been done so far, though she noted that the dust sometimes makes it hard for her to function.

She has also reported a decline in sales owing to earlier road closures.

“I’m not complaining though, it’s for our good,” said Roberts. “People have said it’s only because of the World Cup but it’s not like they can pick up and leave with [the improvements] after the games are done.”

But a few stone throws further west, a tradesman of Ashby Avenue off Oistins Hill was not as enthused as Roberts about the developments.

“I want you to look for yourself and tell me if you see $5 million worth of work happening anywhere in the area,” the villager said. “A little painting here and there and a few new tents, that is all I see happening.”

In addition to what he referred to as a “lack of accountability”, the resident told Barbados TODAY that only “a few people from the area are benefiting from the work”.

“I am a skilled tradesman and nobody asked me anything. You see me there working? Only two or three people from Oistins get work over there. Oistins no longer belong to the residents,” he argued.

shannamoore@barbadostoday.bb

 

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