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Leacock reveals plans for Central Kingstown

Leacock reveals plans for Central Kingstown


Senator St.Clair Leacock of the New Democratic Party (NDP) has rolled out his plans for the Central Kingstown Constituency.{{more}}

Leacock, who will be contesting the upcoming general elections against Elvis Charles of the Unity Labour Party (ULP), in his bid to become the area representative, made his plans known to constituents on Thursday, September 23, at Green Hill.

Leacock said he is desirous of reforming representation politics; introducing agro-processing in the constituency; developing an apprenticeship programme; and creating jobs for his constituents, which will go in sync with his party’s national programme, if it is victorious in the elections.

He reminded the constituents that in as much as Central Kingstown is urban, it is also rural, with agricultural practices. Leacock said even though farmers of the constituency are able to sell their produce such as ginger, eddoes and tannias to markets in Trinidad and Tobago, the time has come to go to the next stage. He said this would mean getting involved in small business enterprises, which includes manufacturing.

He advocated establishing a business venture that would make tea bags from ginger, pepper mint and trumpet bush, using materials from within and outside of Central Kingstown.

Leacock said for generations, Vincentians have used these items to make tea, but these were not explored over the years.

“With respect to our policy of creating employment where at least one person in a household is being employed, people tend to interpret that to mean that those people necessarily have to leave their homes and go to a work place. Around the many households, there are growing things which can be processed,” said Leacock, adding that Vincentians need to tap into their “creative juices”.

He said all this will be done against the backdrop of Education which still remains the bedrock of the society and a fundamental issue to the people.

Leacock called for an apprenticeship programme to be put in place to help develop young Vincentians, especially at organizations where the state has monopolies. He expressed that this will allow the young people to develop skills for which those same enterprises are associated with.

“For example, in VINLEC, electricity, you can turn out young electricians from VINLEC. And if you come out of there with a certified electrician’s qualification from an institution like that, it’s a plus. [Central] Water [and Sewerage] Authority you can come out as a certified plumber or any of the disciplines that Water Authority is involved in,” said Leacock, adding that such a programme can also allow individuals to become skilled mechanics and painters based on the state organization where the apprenticeship is done.

Leacock said he believes that the Coast Guard can conduct similar programmes where participants can learn about life at sea and how to progress into small enterprises for the fishing industry.

He also highlighted opportunities for his constituents and Vincentians on a whole to benefit from his party’s Information Technology programme that is expected to bring about considerable development.

Leacock then used the opportunity to delve into the proposal to have a reform in representation politics. He believes that a constituency development fund should be set up to assist with the development of constituencies.

“I am firm in my belief that constituencies ought to be empowered to do things for the people that have put the representatives into office,” said Leacock.

He said this would allow the representatives to identify “seemingly small items, but which are big things to people.”

“In other words, the focus is now different. We are emphasising what matters to people, not what matters to the nation state per se. And people are too often left out when we talk about development plans,” said Leacock.

“If all of the constituencies in the country develop, automatically one is assured that the whole of the country will develop,” said Leacock, adding that national development can exist, but sometimes does not trickle down to constituencies.

When this happens, he said development is lopsided with most of it concentrated to particular geographical locations.

“For example, Mustique can be a developed part of St. Vincent. Canouan probably can be a developed part of St. Vincent…Kingstown could be a developed, but the rest of the country could be catching hell,” Leacock explained.

Leacock was handsomely endorsed by his party’s political leader.

“I have known Senator Leacock for years, he has been a most valuable member of this group. His contribution to this country cannot be doubted. He has operated in all spheres of activities in this country….He only lost by a small amount of votes the last time, and this time he going to sweep, he going to sweep, he going to sweep Central Kingstown, he’s going to sweep through Central Kingstown,” said Eustace to loud chants of appreciation from the crowd. (HN)