Bodden Town Candidates of the People’s Progressive Movement urged voters not to halt the districts advancement by voting for the opposition, at their National Campaign Rally on 16 April.
The self proclaimed ‘three-mendous’ team comprising Charles Clifford, Anthony Eden and Osbourne Bodden, sought to take constituents on a trip down memory lane, of what Bodden Town was like when they took office four years ago, and what they have accomplished since.
‘We have achieved a lot of things over the four years,’ said Mr Bodden in the decorated lot adjacent to Savannah Meadows. ‘Ivan hit us hard but if you look around us now we have come a long way.
‘There was chaos when we came into office, funds were all over the place and there was favouritism shown, but we did not take that approach.’
Pausing for a second he then asked of the audience. ‘And you want to stop this progress?’
The crowd began roaring, ‘no’. Without skipping a beat he continued, ‘Everyone boasts about the East West arterial. There is a larger social value of having this road because it has reduced the time that it has taken to get to George Town. The East West arterial has given the people of the eastern districts more valuable time with their family.’
Remarking that the Bodden Town Library and Town Hall which were destroyed during Ivan were eventually rebuilt under the PPM’s direction, he said, ‘And yet they say we haven’t done anything. 90 percent of what we promised the people of Bodden Town was delivered. Now if that is not success, you tell me what is.?’
Claiming no perfection he added that there are issues that they the PPM would have liked to address during the four years in office, however, he said that they would be added to the long list they already have.
‘You have a good team. A trusted team, and a proven team that believes in its people and loves its people,’ said Mr. Bodden.
Mr. Clifford was next to the podium of the three Bodden Town candidates.
‘We worked with the National Trust to ensure that the Mission House was rebuilt, and yet they say we did nothing,’ said Mr. Clifford.
‘When we took office in 2005 Bodden Town was the only district not to have benefited from the DART community programme. But we worked with them and established the Harry McCoy Senior Community centre in Bodden Town.’
Pointing out that the PPM was also responsible for establishing the Market at the Grounds; he revealed that the LOGB Mr, Kurt Tibbetts has plans of developing the site as an agri-tourism attraction for the district.
Speaking directly to those who oppose the PPM in the district he said, ‘Everything we have done is for the benefit of the people.’
Apologising for his late arrival, Mr Anthony Eden explained he was at the Chamber of Commerce meeting scheduled for the same time.
Stressing the importance of a yes vote for the new constitution Mr Eden explained that he has served on three cabinets and that what has happened in this one, in his estimation is, ‘intolerable’.
With slight gesticulation he said, ‘We must do something about the way we are governed from the top down, and I am talking about the president of the cabinet…The Governor.
‘I say we need to change this constitution, and I am encouraging all voters to say yes to it.’
MC for the rally, Mr Tony Powell asked voters to read the PPM report card. ‘Don’t listen to what you hear on the street, get your report card and listen to the message. There are not many people who are going to write something that is not established.’
Seeing the rally as the perfect opportunity to address certain issues Mr Alden McLaughlin emphasised what difficult economic times we are living, saying he does not believe that any government that has taken office in this country has had to face the challenges that his government has.
Referring to the ‘three-mendous team’ Mr McLaughlin said, ‘They have taken us to task to ensure the progress and prosperity of your beloved district.’
Speaking with regard to education he decided to address recent disapproval. ‘There has been a great deal of criticism about the decision of my government to proceed with the construction of the Clifton Hunter high school up at Frank Sound, never mind that it was the UDP that bought the land and broke the ground,’ said Mr McLaughlin. ‘It was a good idea when they were in charge but it is a terrible idea now? Why shouldn’t the eastern districts have access to the same facilities as Georgetown and West Bay?’
Continuing to address concerns he said, ‘It has never been the idea if any member of the team that simply building first class facilities will automatically produce a better outcome for our students is going to produce a better education, it is however an important component of the overall transformation of education which has been underway since we took office.
‘We will not apologise for spending money and taking steps to improve the outcomes for our young people.’
With constant talk of the need for a technical and vocational institution Mr McLaughlin said, ‘If the UDP had been paying attention to the plan they would understood that a part of the plan involves the conversion of what is now George Hicks into a technical and vocational institution, with the capacity for some 700 students, but we need to get the other schools built so we can get the children out of George Hicks so that we can have it for the technical and vocational institute and that is for September of next year.’
Mr Arden McLean said if the opposition was to try to do anything to educational facility in Frank Sound they would risk running him over with a bull dozer because he has intentions of lying in there path if any attempt is made to destroy it.
Mr Tibbetts sought explain as he did at the launch rally in George Town why the government is forecasting a budget deficit. Saying the government instructed that there be no lay-offs of civil servants., no reduction in essential services or assistance to the needy.
‘Our people come first,’ said Mr Tibbetts. ‘Don’t stop the progress.’