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Scarborough/Calder Hall

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By Anna Ramdass Scarborough/Calder Hall

On Monday two contenders from the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) and The Platform of Truth (TPT) will battle against Tobago Chief Secretary Orville London for the Scarborough/Calder Hall electoral district in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections.

The contenders in the election race have expressed confidence about victory, but London has remained focused and speaks of accomplishments during his tenure.

The Express today shares the views of London, candidate Anthony Arnold and TPT candidate Andre Phillips.

The Elections and Boundaries' (EBC) supplemental voters list indicates there are some 3,940 registered to vote in the electoral district.

A total of 36 candidates from the three political parties will be contesting the election to claim power over the THA for the next four years.

PNM candidate,

incumbent: Tobago Chief Secretary Orville London:

What we are hoping to do is to build on the development that has taken place over the last many years, especially over the last four years. Within the next couple months there are a number of infrastructural projects which will reach completion and all of them are geared towards certain aspects of development in the community.

From the perspective of recreation, the lighting on the playing fields of Mount Grace has already been completed and we will also be completing, within the next week, the lighting of recreation grounds at Calder Hall and Mason Hall.

We also have constructed a pavilion at Mt Grace and one about to be completed at Mason Hall. There's the basketball, netball hard courts at Calder Hall and Mason Hall which have been recently refurbished.

We do have the facilities for more intensified sporting activities in the area for people to recreate themselves into the late hours of the night and we are hoping this will involve the senior citizens who can come out and maybe walk late in the evening and so on.

We've put in a playpark at Bagatelle and we have put down a vendors mall at Calder Hall — trying to make sure that the entrepreneurial spirit in the community is enhanced.

Of course, we've just put down a space at Calder Hall and one to go at Mt Grace. These are reconfigured containers which are air conditioned and outfitted with computers to be used by the young people to get together for homework centres.

All the community centres in the area have either been extended or refurbished.

The road infrastructure has also been significantly enhanced and we do have a situation where I would say more than 90 per cent of the major roads and I would say between 70 to 80 per cent of the minor roads are in good condition.

In addition to that, the people of Scarborough/Calder Hall would have benefitted from other initiatives which have taken place throughout Tobago, the Financial Assistance programme encouraging young people, the Enterprise Assistance Grant programme and the Enterprise Assistance Fund. Quite a number of people from the electoral district have benefitted from this.

The caregivers programme is another which many of the residents would have benefitted.

One of the challenges is the question of employment and we have the "Yes" programme for young people to benefit.

In my electoral district there is a place called Farm Road which has a significant amount of land suitable for agriculture and very early in this year we are going to be re-distributing that land to encourage greater food production.

We are also going to be encouraging small business because we do have a Business Development Unit that is responsible for guiding persons who wish to get into business.

We intend to give people the opportunity to develop themselves. What we are going to try to do is to further democratise the process. I want one of my major objectives in this term to be to get people more involved in the community level, in their own governance and own welfare, in their own community groups and I want to encourage them to have a system of communication and feedback to allow them to be confident that they have a greater say in their own governance.

It is an exciting time because it gives us an opportunity to reflect and to evaluate and to see what we need to do going forward to benefit the electoral district.

TOP candidate

Anthony Arnold

Why should you be elected?

I have always been working with the people doing their legal work for them throughout the constituency and I have visited some of their homes and their estates are very dilapidated. No work was done for the last four years. I couldn't believe it myself.

We have to get a new Scarborough Market. Move the old market from there and find a place for it.

Mr Ashworth Jack as Chief Secretary will take Tobago forward as he has the responsibly to keep it going.

I am going to push that the Tobago Medical Health Promotion Clinic will stay in Calder Hall if I am elected.

As far as the playgrounds are concerned they will be upgraded during my term and we will also open up access roads for farmers.

Last time there was a very close race, there was a lot of bacchanal, that is past but we going again.

TPT candidate

Andre Phillips

Why should you be elected?

I am a fresh, new but yet experienced face in that seat, the other two contenders have been to the polls to represent that area three times, the population is reporting to me that they want new faces, they see the candidates as jaded and of course Mr London at this point in time, his record of service in Tobago is one of misgovernance. People seeing him in his seat are seeing him as a man whose political management has not been able to take Tobago forward even though there was a great opportunity for transforming.

I bring to this campaign therefore innovative, decent, energetic, articulate and loyal representation.

This has been tested in the island community, it has been tested in some respects in a sectoral way with my work in youth development across the island.

I have had significant exposure by virtue of my responsibly for policy development and management. I have served on State boards under each government in the last 15 years. I have a significant network of resources I can plough into the community.

I am an activist in the civil society movement having founded the PUSH Foundation which is "People United to Save our Heritage" and that has been in operation for almost 15 years. It is through that initiative that we work with youths. I am a man who has been recognising the icons of Tobago so I know how to profile people and communities so that we can get people to feel that they are empowered.

There are challenges in my community Scarborough/Calder Hall, 3,900 voters, it's a diverse community.

We have an urban, semi-urban and farming community. What I am trying to do is come up with a range of initiatives that would speak to each cluster within the constituency.

There are significant projects I would like to introduce:

Link with Bacolet/Mt St George. We would be able to have the greater Scarborough district created. We can work with stakeholders to see Scarborough become a city in four years.

The second, I would like to work with a male support programme. It is important to work with others, particularly people who come from the church background, to have a particular focus on a male support programme which I call "Men in Gear", because you have to gear men to pick up the roles in their homes, households led by men, being equipped to play the role as husbands, parents and contributors.

Another is a strong focus on uniting the entire electoral district by creating the St Andrew's Sports Association to allow a variety of sports to be played which will bring goodwill among all the residents.

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