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NDP stomps in Chateau

NDP stomps in Chateau

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Last Saturday evening the New Democratic Party (NDP) took their show to the Sharpes Park area of North Leeward, where a sizeable crowd, numbering in the hundreds, gathered.{{more}}

The meeting was chaired by Calder Williams, a former Leader of the Opposition, who represented the area from 1979 to 1984.

Nigel Stevenson, parliamentary representative for South Leeward was the first speaker, followed by Lauron Baptiste, the NDP’s candidate for North Windward; Dr Jules Ferdinand, the NDP’s candidate for West St George; Addison Thomas, candidate for South Central Windward; Daniel Cummings, parliamentary representative for West Kingstown; Roland “Patel” Matthews, parliamentary representative for North Leeward and Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace. St Clair Leacock, parliamentary representative for Central Kingstown, was the last speaker.

In his presentation, area representative Matthews called for accountability in the North Leeward tourism sector and asked about the Euro 700,000 grant that was given to the North Leeward Tourism Association by the Caribbean Regional Environmental Project (CREP), and another Euro100,000 grant from UNESCO for a Youth Path project at Fitzhughes. Matthews also criticized the Ministry of Agriculture’s handling of Haunglongbing or Asian Citrus Greening disease, along with Moko and other tree crop and plant diseases.

Eustace said that he has confidence in Matthew’s abilities, that is why he appointed him Minister of Agriculture in his shadow cabinet two years ago.

In a telephone interview, Matthews told SEARCHLIGHT that he is ready to take on the challenge of government, especially in agriculture, where he intends to transform the agricultural sector. Matthews said that the Ministry of Agriculture has a lumbering old bureaucracy that needs to be streamlined, decentralized and modernized,

“We have to put the experts where they are most needed; you can’t have people coming from Kingstown to spray in Richmond, when it can be done by persons in the area”, Matthews said.

The first term representative also said that he has been working along with a team on a plan to transform tha agricultural sector so that it can operate in real time and be more effective. According to Matthews, he will present his plan to the public, after final approval by the party, in a series of agricultural forums that will be held throughout the country.

The NDP’s next stomp will be in the North Windward constituency next month.(TY)

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