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Progress slow but sure

Progress slow but sure

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“This is not a show we are making; these are serious matters when dealing with people’s lives and livelihoods.”

The words of René Baptiste, Minster of Culture and area representative for West Kingstown, as she commented on the continuing peace efforts at Edinboro and Ottley Hall.{{more}}

Baptiste was at the time speaking during a presentation at Ottley Hall Tuesday, November 3, as residents of that community are engaged in a beautification project.

The project is aimed at restoring a sense of pride among residents of that community.

Minster Baptiste said the community-based group Urban League initiated the project, which entailed using tyres and planting trees.

“They started at Edinboro end and was waiting to start the Ottley Hall end – this has come to pass now,” Baptiste said.

She went on to outline further plans for the community.

These include the completion of the playing field, the construction of a hard court and the conversion of the public bath into a counseling centre.

“We figure the community is enlarging and the residents needed a counseling centre,” she continued.

She further explained that efforts were made to connect all residents in the area to access water in their homes as it was a Public Health decision to rid communities of public baths.

She added that road work and proper drainage were also part of plans in enhancing the community.

Baptiste, however, urged residents to be patient noting that all things needed time.

“These things take time… you can’t expect to see things happen now. They have to go through a lot from paper to project,” Baptiste explained.

The Minister went on to say that she was pleased with the effort made by both the Police and the residents of the community.

“I think we are making progress slowly,” she said.

“I am indebted to the Commissioner and his men for some of the things that have been accomplished,” Baptiste added.

“I am also pleased the community has latched on to it and I hope that in time it will change the tone of the community.”

Keith Miller, Commissioner of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force expressed similar views saying that when meetings were held, members of the community expressed their views as to some of the activities they wanted to see take place.

“What we are doing today is to deliver on what was asked for,” Miller explained.

He added that among the efforts to reform the community was the removal of graffiti which is expected to begin soon.

“We want to get rid of turfs – it is one community and persons have to co-exist,” Miller contended.

Overall, Miller said that the effort to restore peace was bearing fruit.

The employment of some of the young people and a visible reduction in the amount of reported gun related crimes were indications of this, according to the Commissioner.

He also commented on the success of the Police initiative of community policing.

“There is unfinished work on the streets of Kingstown and St Vincent.

“We can delegate, but presence means a lot,” Miller said. (DD)

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