From left: Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Ruth Blackman; Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett; Chief Welfare Officer (Ag), Patricia Brathwaite.

A central maintenance department is on the cards for the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development.

This disclosure was made by Minister Steve Blackett, after a recent tour to a number of National Assistance Board (NAB) and Welfare Department outposts last week.

Lamenting the inadequate upkeep of the buildings, the Social Care Minister stated: "What I would like to ideally establish within the Ministry is a central maintenance unit…because outside of the Welfare Department and the NAB, we have satellite stations that fall under the purview of the Community Development Department. We have 41 community centres and resource centres, and with that kind of property we certainly need an in-house maintenance department."

Mr. Blackett, along with officials from the Ministry, visited the Welfare Department’s offices at Speightstown, St. Peter; Belleplaine, St. Andrew; and Benthams, St. Lucy, where the Constituency Council for that area also has an office.

The delegation also paid a stop to the National Assistance Board’s Recreational Programme at North Stars Recreational Facility at Crab Hill, St. Lucy, where they were treated to a short presentation by the participants.

The Minister noted that although the buildings appeared to be in a generally good condition, they were in need of some repairs, which he stated would be addressed over the next few months.??


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