by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- St Andrew Council of Ministers to launch in February
- Challenges at Princess Alice hospital and Rainbow City festival to be addressed
- Parish has seen closure of several businesses and banking institutions
The St Andrew Council of Ministers is to lead the charge of addressing the many issues confronting the people of the big parish of St Andrew. Minister Yolande Bain-Horsford, MP for St Andrew North East Kate Lewis, MP for St Andrew North West Delma Thomas and MP for St Andrew South East Emmalin Pierre will join forces when the council launches in February.
Minister Pierre said the issues confronting the big parish are great and need the collaborative efforts of all concerned, including having the participation of the people in order for these issues to be effectively addressed. “One of the things we found to be extremely important is promoting people’s participation in development and that launch will also see the formation of subcommittees addressing very critical issues.”
Minister Pierre highlighted the challenges at the Princess Alice hospital as one example. “The issue at the Princess Alice hospital, we have major concerns about how this needs to be improved, but not just talking about it and speaking with the Minister for Health but what can we do at the parish level to address the concerns we have.”
Although not a part of the slate of ministers to head the council, Senator Norland Cox in his capacity as Minister with responsibility for Culture and the Arts also raised the issue of the decline in the Rainbow City Festival which is organised by the St Andrew’s Development Organisation (SADO). He too has called for the festival to be revamped.
“I will have to pull the support and resources of all 4 MPs from St Andrew to ensure that we do have a better product… soon we have the intention to engage the organising committee to see where they are and to continue to work with them to see if we can improve that but that is something we have on the agenda.”
Many criticisms have been lodged against the government regarding the apparent neglect of the rural economy, particularly the parish of St Andrew which was once known as the breadbasket of the nation. Recently, the parish has seen closure of several businesses and banking institutions.
Terry Forrester, founder and political leader of the Grenada Progressive Movement held a media briefing where he lamented the present state of the rural economy. “We have a crisis in our agriculture sector; we see the abandonment of the rural economy and that has translated — because I have done studies on the causes of this — over 300% rise in abuse to our young kids and it has risen from 2017 to 62 cases to now close to 200 at the end of 2018. And where you look at where these cases are coming from it emanates almost 90% in our rural parishes. We have been speaking with the same voice…and express the need for our government to take serious stock as to what is happening in our rural economy.”