When Albert Pilgrim, area representative of the Buccoo/Mt. Pleasant electoral district, came into office, the villages had dirt roads. Now all roads leading to the villages are paved and smooth. “We make no excuses. We try our best,” Pilgrim said.
He told the constituents that there had been many improvements within their community. The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) renovated the Mt. Pleasant Community Centre 4 years ago and now the Hampden Lowlands Facility is under construction. Pilgrim indicated many Division programmes and various groups have utilized the Buccoo Integrated Facility, which has also been the location for the Buccoo Goat Racing Festival. “When this administration goes to do something, we seek to give you the best,” Pilgrim said.
Secretary of Settlements and Labour Goodwin Adams said, “I am extremely happy for the development work that was done in this area. However, the development process continues.” He told listeners Settlements was treating with housing units in areas including Adelphi, Bacolet Phase II, Adventure Land, and Courland. He said Settlements would mix up the construction of the housing units with service lots; and the construction of the housing units will commence in the middle of July to early August. 300 housing units will be constructed over a period of 24-36 months. “The allocation of houses or housing units will be extremely transparent,” Adams noted.
He said the THA was now in the process of acquiring land in the Shirvain/Mt. Plesant area.
Half of the housing allocation will be made by a general public draw, regardless of which village a resident of Tobago resides in. Ten percent will go to those who work in the Protective Services. Fifteen percent will be given to persons living in the immediate environment where housing is available, and twenty-five percent will be left to the Division to distribute.
The meeting was part of the Executive Council’s “2012 Reporting to the Districts” programme. “People come to the meetings because they recognise that we as their representatives have two responsibilities,” THA Chief Secretary Orville London said. “One is to take care of you and two is to assist you in taking care of yourselves.” He told listeners to think of what the situation within their community was before 2001. “You have to compare the what was and what is likely to be,” he said. “The game has changed. We’ve raised the bar.”
Referring to the debate in the newspapers about the Green Paper versus the Assembly Bills, London said, “Tobago is under threat.” He cautioned Tobagonians to not keep silent about utilizing their own resources to their benefit.
“Development, by definition, is an ongoing thing. And the rate of development can continue at the same pace, accelerate, or it can stall,” London said.
Culture Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine said her Division is working to enhance the social infrastructure of communities on the island and would be organizing the management of community centres and implementing daily programmes.
Deputy Chief Secretary Hilton Sandy disclosed that eighty-five percent of the roads in Buccoo/Mt. Pleasant are in good condition and promised that the remaining fifteen percent would be attended to before the end of the year.