Buxton will not be left out – PM tells Buxtonians at packed outreach
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Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips (Delano Williams photo)
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips (Delano Williams photo)

PRIME MINISTER, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, on Monday, emphasised that there is much on the cards for the development of Buxton as he delivered remarks at a Cabinet outreach in Buxton/Friendship, East Coast Demerara.

Held at the Buxton Community Centre Ground, the packed-to-capacity outreach saw Cabinet Ministers interacting with the residents and making pledges to address issues raised, including repairs to roads, facilities, small business assistance, and work for contractors from the communities.

Many residents were delighted with how the over three-hour engagement played out.

“I think it was good. It was fruitful. A lot of promises were made, with some of it already delivered. I believe people feel their voices are being heard and that the Ministers here represent the government. People feel confident that their concerns were being addressed and that the government will look into it and get it sorted out,” resident Grace Williams shared in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, following the end of the outreach.

A mother of two, Williams said that she had been living in Buxton for over 30 years.

She shared that she was also happy with the turnout at the event and was glad to see her fellow Buxtonians come out to engage with the government.

“I am more than pleased. I am more than overwhelmed with the response. I was here for a previous engagement with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Sports, and there were only a few people in attendance from the community. But this here shows that people are willing to listen and are willing to voice their concerns,” she related.

Fifty-year-old Buxton resident who gave her name as “Auntie Claudette” also spoke on how pleased she was with the event and how it played out, giving Buxtonians and other East Coast residents from nearby villages the opportunity to voice their concerns.

“It was very productive. A lot of people got to express the way they feel, and express what was bothering them and they showed their concerns and I think it was something good that the government did. Some of the concerns raised affect me, for instance, the road that’s a major concern, and I believe the Ministers responded to that okay,” she said.

Monday’s event was attended by several Ministers led by the Prime Minister, who, during his opening address, called for unity and togetherness to advance Guyana’s developmental agenda.

“Now is the time for development in Guyana and Buxton will not be left out. When we talk about ‘One Guyana’ we’re talking about development for all the people of Guyana, wherever you are. This will happen in every village all over Guyana. We are going to go out and meet you in your community,” the Prime Minister said as he made opening remarks.

With revenues from Guyana’s oil and gas industry pouring in, Guyana is currently on a transformative, developmental trajectory, with several massive projects and programmes being executed across the country.

“Now is the time for us as a people with a resource that will give us the revenue that we never had before to bring development to all of Guyana. And this government has decided that we will transform Guyana together with that revenue. Let us be a focussed people. The PPP/C government from 1992 to now has always put forward a people-centred development programme,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister noted how heartened he was by the volume of the turnout at the event, saying that it showed that Guyanese were willing to focus on development rather than detractors.

“Your turn out is sending a strong message to the detractors who never wanted this to happen. Don’t let us allow anybody to divide us,” PM Phillips said.

Calling Buxton an “exemplary village” from the post-Emancipation era village movement, the PM called on the village to continue to set an example.

“Many educators were produced by this village, who educated people throughout the length and breadth of Guyana. We know the history of Buxton. We know the people of Buxton once you are united. I want us to remain united and lift the village to be an example to all. That is why we are here to start this discussion on development, and it will leave here with us, and it will go to all of the villages,” the PM said.

PM Phillips was joined at the head table of Monday’s outreach by Ministers of Housing and Water, Colin Croal, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Charles Ramson, Minister of Health, Frank Anthony, Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Industry, Oneidge Walrond, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, and Minister within the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McKoy.

The individual Ministers spoke about issues in their respective Ministries.

Speaking with one of the small businesses from the area, Minister Dharamlall noted that emphasis would be placed on using contractors and residents from the Buxton area when contracting works are done in the area. He likewise called on contractors to ensure that they employ Buxtonians and others native to the area when they get contracts.

Minister Walrond noted that a business workshop would be held in the community within the next few weeks, and the names and numbers for the owners of several small businesses in the area were taken down for future reference.

In terms of immediate action, several food hampers were distributed to the residents at the outreach, while Minister Ramson had several new basketball hoops delivered to the community centre ground to replace the aging hoops at the facility. A grass mower was also provided.

In terms of other community infrastructure, Minister Edghill made a note of the roads in need of repair while noting that all the roads cannot be done immediately; he indicated that works could begin shortly on the highest priority road.

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