Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley makes a point during the Ideas Forum in St. Peter. Also, on stage is Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw and MP for St. Peter and Minister of Labour, Colin Jordan. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

The Speightstown Task Force will be re-established and it is expected to make recommendations to Government by the end of June.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made this disclosure last night as she addressed the Ideas Forum at Alexandra School Hall, Queens Street, St. Peter, under the theme: FutureBarbados: Speightstown a Heritage, Arts and Cuisine Hub.

Ms. Mottley told the packed room that there were many people of all backgrounds and skills who could serve on the task force. “I will ask Colin Jordan (Member of Parliament for St. Peter) to put together a committee ….  We are going to move to have a deeper consultation ….

“The task force … is not an open-ended opportunity to talk forever, and therefore we will establish it, but … I want the task force to recommend things that they want to see, by the end of June.”

The Prime Minister suggested that members of the task force should also canvass the views of residents of St. Peter to get their recommendations.

She proffered the view that Speightstown was synonymous with heritage and would like its charm retained. 

She further stated that some persons were of the view that the character of Speightstown should not be changed as it would allow residents to feel as if they were anchored to a time past, while still enjoying the amenities and conveniences of the 21st Century.

During the session, it was suggested that Speightstown be made one way and Ms. Mottley agreed, saying there was merit in the suggestion.  She said it would allow for more pedestrian activity, which would mean an improvement in sidewalks and street lights.

A full house at the Ideas Forum held at the Alexandra School in St. Peter. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

“Without prejudice to that [task force], the Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance, Peter Phillips, is here and I want him to raise the issue of the street being one-way with the CTO in the Ministry tomorrow (today) and get their opinion, to be given to me within two weeks, before the end of February …. I don’t believe in directing without consultation with the technical officers,” she stated.

The Prime Minister disclosed that the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance had been asked to make all of the towns disabled-friendly, so the sidewalks would be accessible.

“I am hoping that in this next fiscal year we can enhance our aspiration to be a good society by being able to accommodate the differently-abled, and Speightstown is but one of the towns for which that would apply,” she noted.

She indicated that Government was constrained in the amount of capital works it could undertake.  She stressed, however, that wherever possible, Government was trying to create opportunities for investment.

During the interactive session, a number of suggestions were made by the audience, which comprised school children, including the introduction of a Speightstown Heritage Night, preferably on Friday.

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