The Lancaster/Hogstye NDC has been the victim of neglect for decades under the PPP/C Government and this plight is now continuing under this current Coalition Government which is supposed to change things and more specifically empower NDCs to reflect the will of the people in order to foster socio/economic development of the various NDCs and by extension the Regions. Why is this happening under this new Government? Everyone in the NDC is asking this question.
The answer dawned on me when I began reading letters by various writers about the corruption in Region 6 and why it is caused. The APNU+AFC Coalition won the government but Region 6 is still tightly controlled by the PPP/C and this has been the problem and continues to be the problem since our NDC is the only NDC in Region 6 which is controlled by the Coalition. What is more revealing is that the Regional Vice Chairman, Mr Dennis Deroop is the Chairman of the Regional Works Committee and is also a high profile official of the PPP/C and probably this is why our NDC is being targeted in such a blatant and hostile manner.
Our NDC was totally disregarded in the consultation process which should have taken place in the formulation of the Regional 2017 Estimates. We prepared our proposal which had seven streets but when we inspected the RDC Budget proposal we found that there were two streets which we never submitted. What is revealing is that we were never consulted about the inclusion of these two roads and what is more horrifying is that we have two roads among a few others which are worse off than the two which are in the RDC Proposal. If we were consulted then we would have recommended these two roads be done as a matter of priority. A few of the roads which are worse off are: the Middle Walk Dam South Half of Public Road (Ulverston); Manchester Secondary School Street South Half of Public Road (Manchester) and First Street North Half of Public Road (Lancaster). The Regional Vice Chairman cannot simply pull two roads out of a hat. This is not a game and serious and meaningful consultation must be done.
Then we have found that in Item 2 under ‘Roads and Bridges’ in the RDC 2017 Proposal, there is a proposal to construct a heavy-duty bridge at Second Street, North Half of Liverpool Village which was constructed just a few months ago.
Why this duplication? Is it a deliberate and corrupt act? Is it negligence because of non-consultation? We are certain that if the RDC 2017 proposal is carefully evaluated it will be seen that there are many such anomalies or deliberate acts of corruption. Again we must conclude that if the necessary consultation was done then this would have been avoided.
That this NDC has been neglected can be concluded from the fact that for over 22 years we have been requesting an excavator to dig and clean our drainage and irrigation canals located in our backlands where our farmlands are located but to no avail.
This has resulted is serious damage to our crops resulting in more than 3000 acres of farmlands being abandoned. Currently, some youths in the area are trying to do some farming but are affected by lack of water or flooding so at the moment they are considering quitting.
Next, a sluice which controls the flow of excess water from Black Bush Polder has been in disrepair for a long time causing the entire area to be flooded when water is released from the Black Bush Area. This sluice is urgently needed but our appeals have fallen on deaf ears. This is compounded by the fact that a tubing was removed by the Regional Vice Chairman without consulting with the residents or the NDC and this has caused the Whim/Lancaster areas to suffer from a lack of water while facilitating other areas.
Are we going to be referred to as ’cry babies’ by some members of the RDC because we are complaining about the issues affecting us and the Region? We have fought a long time for Local Government Elections and we must not have our rights trampled upon.
We are calling on this Government to fix these wrongs and we know that the Regional Chairman is a fair and just person with no political bias so we would like for him to address these issues since the Region’s affairs is his main responsibility. It is time for the Regional Vice Chairman to go.
Chairman of the Works Committee
Anthony Leitch, Councillor,
Works Committee Member