Salisbury MP Hector John questions the execution of the EU funded feeder road rehabilitation project
Salisbury MP Hector John is raising concerns about the manner of execution of the European Union (EU) funded feeder road rehabilitation project. The rehabilitation of feeder roads has been an issue of much concern to farmers since 2007, and especially for Salisbury area residents, who are heavily dependent on agriculture.
In May 2016, three contracts were issued, valued at over $20 Million dollars, for the rehabilitation of roads funded by the EU, through the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM). The contract for Lot 1, which includes the Syndicate and Mero, Cuba, Salisbury feeder roads worth 2.2 million Euros or $6.7 million EC, was awarded to Philippe Valbon, Managing Director of Trayvis EURL of Martinique.
John said on a UWP radio program on Thursday 25 August 2016, “What we see happening in Salisbury is like it’s the government’s project, and politics is really playing a hand in it. The project started and they have not had a meeting with the people of Salisbury”. He said a meeting was held with some farmers about two months ago, but only “about seven farmers were able to attend, because the meeting was scheduled at the wrong time. It was held on a Friday when everybody is either on their farm or preparing for market, so they said they will come back to Salisbury to have a meeting”.
John says the project has commenced, but there has not been a follow up meeting with farmers or residents in the Salisbury area. He also expressed concern that while Salisbury has several contractors and heavy equipment owners, “only one set of people are getting jobs from the project. We are not against anybody eating, but we want everybody to eat, no matter what political party you support”.
John emphasized that while this feeder road rehabilitation project has been a major concern for Salisbury farmers, they are prepared to stop the project if their concerns are not addressed. “It is a serious concern for us; I will say it straight up, if we see them going the wrong way, or continue the project without engaging us, we will stop the project. That’s it; no if’s, no buts, we will just stop the project, the entire village of Salisbury will stop that road project. We need it, but it has to be done properly”.
He said they have taken this position because the project is funded by the European Union and “this money is not Roosevelt Skerrit’s money, it’s not Shank’s money”. A meeting was scheduled with the villagers for Saturday 27th August, to discuss how they should proceed. John said “We have over seven to ten dump trucks in the village and they are not engaged, so that’s why we are planning that meeting on Saturday, to let the villagers know”.
John added, “It is important that we meet as a village to plan going forward, to ensure we send a loud message, very clear message to the contractors, to the EU, to the government, to the NAO, that we will not take their nonsense”. He said this is a very critical and serious issue, and “we will not take it for a joke, we will not bend backwards as a community, we will stand up and ensure that we get what we rightfully deserve”. Q95 will bring you more information about the outcomes of that meeting, in a subsequent news cast later today.
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