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Belle Garden East/Roxborough/Delaford

Candidate profiles:

By Anna Ramdass

According to the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) supplemental voters list, there are some 3,625 people registered to vote in the Belle Garden East/Roxborough/Delaford electoral district in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election.

The Express spoke to the three candidates from the People's National Movement (PNM), Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) and The Platform of Truth (TPT), who shared their vision for Tobago and why should they be elected to the THA.

A total of 36 candidates from the three parties will be contesting 12 electoral districts in the THA election on January 21.

Belle Garden East/ Roxborough/Delaford

Incumbent: PNM candidate Hilton Sandy, 66,

THA Secretary for Infrastructure.

Why should you be re-elected?

The reason I should be re-elected is I performed for the last four years and over a 12-year period and have improved the area and a lot of the people have confidence in me as their representative.

The people benefitted from infrastructure development, human and social development... I have been there with them.

In Belle Garden there is a new basketball court and recreation ground. We put in a new, modern fish depot which will be opened soon. We built two new roads to open up further access to lands. Almost all the roads in that area have been paved.

In Kendal, we have commenced the construction of a modern swimming pool.

In Argyle, I'm now putting down a 15-stall mall for businesses for the people there, a fish depot, bus shelter, toilet facilities and an esplanade for the people to enjoy the sea view. Also, we just installed pavements in the village for easier access for the people.

In Breadfruit Alley, we just completed a survey for people there who are squatting to get the titles for land. We also installed a new community centre and there is a container on the compound which is air-conditioned and outfitted with computers for the use of the community.

In Roxborough, we have a new housing development of 80 houses, we will also be purchasing more land for new housing.

We have refurbished the Cyd Gray Recreation Facility. In fact, I think we have better lighting on the grounds than in Trinidad. We refurbished the health centre for extended health services.

The new gas station will be finished soon. We built a fishing depot which is 85 per cent completed.

We will also establish a jetty for the fisherfolk to land their fish.

The future for Roxborough is bright, as there is a design for the construction of an administrative complex where we will bring all the services to Roxborough, the THA will be able to sit there, there will be a conference centre, WASA, T&TEC, the Inland Revenue will all be there so people can come there instead of having to go to Scarborough.

As a matter of fact, the tender process was supposed to have commenced yesterday (Monday). We also want to build a new abattoir, but we are waiting on approval from the EMA.

Having worked so hard, I am confident that I will get the mandate again from the people... the response I am getting so far is excellent. This will be my last four years and I will be training someone to take over for me. We have a lot of youths involved in politics and it is not as it was long ago where you had to have money to get involved in politics. I will train someone who will gather the skill in people representation.

TOP candidate Anselm Richards, 46, socio-economic analyst.

Why should you be elected?

I should be elected because I have been working for the people of Tobago for the past 46 years of my life. I have been working in the interest of the people and over the years I have acquired the skills and knowledge to efficiently and effectively serve the people.

Roxborough, if you understand the history of Tobago, was flagged as our second town. If you come here today you will see that Roxborough has been crucified by the PNM over the past 12 years, Tobago East in general.

The plan for East Tobago is very elaborate. We will return Roxborough to the true status of a second town in Tobago.

A whole new administrative complex will be established in Roxborough with the services of the THA. We will also build a transportation hub that will service East Tobago.

We are going to establish a modern abattoir and make it part of the Kendal Farm School, we had one before and it was closed off.

We are going to ensure that the university is built in Tobago North East and you know the potential that comes with that—economic benefits, infrastructure, ICT and technology that will transform Tobago East into a full city.

The way forward is pregnant with possibilities. We just have to mobilise the people and sell them the vision. There is no limit of what we can do and achieve in Tobago as a people with the support of the people and their assets and skills.

We also have to introduce a significant injection of science and technology in the resuscitation of the agricultural sector, with appropriate land management and land distribution to assist farmers.

Over the past 12 years, we had the blind who had sight but no vision leading us.

TPT candidate Senya Martin, 22, IT technician,

Works Division, Tobago.

Why should you be elected?

This is my first time contesting as a candidate. I am a young person who can work with the youths and encourage them toward being leaders and responsible people.

Agriculture is an area I would like to focus on because food is important and we should try to expand that sector so it can contribute greater to the economy, this island is very wealthy with natural resources.

My vision for Tobago is one where we have a stable self-government, where Tobagonians have control to really allow the youths the opportunity to contribute. This is the message I want to share with the public and, by extension, Tobago.

Sport is also another important area. I play football and had participated in Best Village and this can uplift the youths.

I chose to join the TPT because I felt it was the proper vehicle for me to contribute to Tobago. The other two parties, for me, you have to get involved in Trinidad business as they are being controlled by parties in Trinidad.

I want to stand as a God-fearing person and represent the people. I believe in my God and I love Tobago. I see the TPT as the party that will focus on Tobagonians and develop the island.

There are many unemployed youths in Tobago. I have many cousins who have degrees, but no jobs. We need to change that and get the youths employed.

It is not fair that Tobagonians with high qualifications have to go somewhere else to work—that defeats the purpose of giving back.

In Tobago, it is about who you know and that shouldn't be. Every person must be given a fair and equal opportunity. God made us all equal and we should all have a fair chance. This is what disturbs me and, as a young man, I want to do something about that.

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