Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley. (FP)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has reiterated Government’s intention to improve the quality of life for the rural population by ensuring that services are carried to them and not the reverse.

And with that in mind, Ms. Mottley has disclosed that the post office and police station in St. Andrew will be renovated; work will be done on the bridge at Bruce Vale and $230 million will be spent to improve the road infrastructure in the Scotland District area.

She made the comments today while delivering an address at the re-opening of the St. Andrew Outpatient Clinic, at Belleplaine, St. Andrew. The Prime Minister told her audience: “We have also agreed that the post office… which has been closed for repairs…should be renovated….

“We also are committed to renovating the police station, as a police outpost, recognising that the manner in which we deliver services within the police force will change by nature of the use of technology, and by nature of the use of the different structures that the force will utilise, including those that are focused around specialist services, and not only geographical distribution of the deployment of officers.”

With regard to the bridge at Bruce Vale, she disclosed the work would start in two weeks with the establishment of a temporary bridge, which would be in place until the permanent structure is completed.

Ms. Mottley told the officials and residents, including Attorney General Dale Marshall and Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, that the road rehabilitation project in the Scotland District was important at this time, noting that Barbados’ economy had lost $2 billion in economic activity in the last year.

“All of us who depend on tourism and travel have literally been hit with a tsunami of economic destruction. It is therefore incumbent on us as a Government to recognise that in these circumstances, the private economy is the most severely affected. And therefore, the only entity…that has the capacity to stand up and fill the space, has the girth to hold things up is the Government.  And therefore, the Government’s capital works programme matters,” she stated.

Ms. Mottley said some of the roads to be completed in phase one are: White Hill; Andromeda to Bath; Highway Z – Andromeda to Gaggs Hill; Highway 3 – Gaggs Hill to Bonwell; Sugar Hill, the Ermy Bourne Highway, Shorey Village; Mose Bottom; Hillaby; Bloomsbury, St. Thomas; and Carrington Village, St. Thomas.

She noted that work was currently being carried out on the road in Dark Hole and there was a team of 24 persons building gabions to stop land slippage in the Scotland District area.

During her speech, she also addressed the recent public debate as to what is legitimate procurement. “The framers of our laws recognise that there will be times in the affairs of a nation when emergency procurement and specialised procurement are critical.

“Now, if the loss of $2 billion and the absence of economic activity and the absence of sufficient publicly owned enterprises, as opposed to privately owned companies, is in the condition that we know it is, then the only entity that can bring relief to the people of this nation is the Government of Barbados,” she insisted.

The Prime Minister argued that if the necessary support was not given now, then people would fall through the cracks.

“This country needs to recognise that if we don’t resolve our problems in the here and now, there will be no here and now for many. And it is against that background, that the framers of our laws, not this Government, those who went before, and this Government has repeated it in the new Public Financial Management Act, which in fact, increases the obligations,” she explained.

The Prime Minister disclosed that she is in the process of reviewing the medium term fiscal framework which would be laid in Parliament in about six weeks.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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