Residents of the constituency of Micoud South engaged Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony in a three-hour town hall meeting held at the Blanchard Multipurpose Centre, on Thursday, September 5, 2013.
Prime Minister Anthony began the meeting by expressing his gratitude to the residents for the warm welcome received and for the patience exercised over the last year, as they awaited an opportunity to meet with him.
From the onset, the prime minister committed himself to answering all questions and encouraged residents to speak freely and openly.
Matters discussed included much needed renovation works to the Blanchard Multipurpose Centre and Blanchard Combined School as well as repairs to feeder roads and other community access roads in the constituency of Micoud South.
One resident highlighted the need to provide a greater level of support to non-banana farmers, noting that banana farmers currently enjoy subsidies on fertilizers, whereas other farmers pay market prices.
In response to this concern, Prime Minister Anthony explained that the government of Saint Lucia is currently exploring the possibility of accessing different grades of fertilizers at a cheaper rate through a Petro-Caribe assistance initiative. This, he says, will assist in mitigating the high cost of production for farmers.
Residents expressed their appreciation for the $500 bursary given to all students entering Form One in all secondary schools and called for greater assistance in the area of transportation for students.
Prime Minister Anthony took the opportunity to allay the fears of parents who were not clear on the security features of the laptops which will be made available to students of Form Four later this term. Dr. Anthony assured parents that inappropriate sites will be blocked and a tracking device embedded in the laptops will make it possible to determine its exact location at all times.
So far this year, Prime Minister Anthony has held town hall meetings in Vieux-Fort North, Babonneau, Choiseul and Micoud South.