This presentation is being made in the context of service to the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports, but more significantly in service to the people of Dennery North and lends support to the 2013/2014 Estimates as presented by the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance.
This year’s fiscal package is yet another manifestation of the formidable leadership prowess of the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning and Social Security.
Public gratitude is due to the people of Dennery North for having reposed their confidence in the ability of this Government and representative to lead the developmental charge of our beloved community within the existing framework of government.
For the purposes of record, the communities captured in Dennery North are as follows:
Thomazo, Dubonnair, Morn Panache and Grand Rivière, Morne Pie and lower grand Ravine, Richfond, La Belle Vee and New Village, La Perle, La Ressource and Gardette, Despin, Aux Lyons and of course the community that has been home from the time of birth-Derniere Rivière, encompassing Austin Hill, Fond Makaboo, Babawa, Belmont and Fondmawiscent.
UNFAVOURABLE ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT
We are in a global economic and financial crisis. Things are hard everywhere – In the UK, USA, Greece, Turkey and Ireland. The Caribbean is not immune or spared the ravages of the crisis. Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica, even oil rich Trinidad and Tobago.
We are not alone in this crisis but we should never be comforted by the fact that our situation is not unique.
As a responsible government we cannot take comfort and solace in knowing that we are not alone.
Amidst all the debate and conjecture, consistent in all the recommendations, is a need for solid and reliable leadership in the jurisdictions that are in economic peril. And that we have, in the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance as we maneuver through the choppy waters of economic stabilization and recovery.
Leadership that is not afraid to take bold decision is needed. Leadership that is not afraid to take tough and unpopular decisions once it is in the best interest of the country.
Last year, the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports received a total recurrent expenditure amount of $4,967,300.00 and a capital expenditure amount of $8,167,000.00. A grand total of $13,134,300.00.
For the ensuing year 2013/2014 as per the estimates, our recurrent expenditure allocation is $6,055,000.00 and a capital allocation of $5,713,938.00, giving us a grand total of $11,768,938.00.
The Ministry of Youth Development and Sports embarked on a total rehabilitation of the Philip Marcellin Grounds. This includes the resurfacing of the grounds, installation of new roof, a new draining system and later this year a lighting system will be installed to allow for night sports and other community activities.
In partnership with NICE, the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports established small facilities maintenance units in every district. These units have been provided with the necessary equipment namely lawn-mowers, weed eaters, wheel-barrows, shovels and other implements so as to facilitate the transformation into pristine surfaces; the then maintained and in some cases abandoned playing fields and playgrounds in the various pocket communities.
STATUS OF FACILITIES
Upon assuming office, an assessment was done on all major playing facilities. The findings are:
Au-Lee-Bo playing field in Laborie- abandoned.
Aupicon Playing Field in Vieux-Fort North- abandoned.
The football half of the sizable Wenn Playing field in Mon Repos- abandoned.
More than half the Jackmel Playing field- abandoned.
Court area in the Anse La Raye Constituency – abandoned.
Belair Playing Field in Castries South East – abandoned.
And several other playing fields and multi-purpose courts were in a less than desirable condition.
Through the NICE Programme, this situation with our playing fields has remedied once and for all.
UPGRADING OF MULTIPURPOSE COURTS- $300,000.00
During the last year, the Corinth Secondary School and the St Mary’s College School Courts have been upgraded.
In the ensuing year, the Anse La Raye court will be rehabilitated and a court will be constructed in Bel Mont (Dennery North).
Many playing fields will be refurbished; however, parliamentary representatives are urged to allocate a portion of their allocations under the Constituency Development Programme to assist in refurbishments to playing facilities in their constituencies.
UPGRADING OF NATIONAL SPORTS FACILITIES-$500,000.00
The Philip Marcellin grounds as well as the National Stadium in Vieux-Fort will benefit.
In collaboration with the SSDF, work will continue on the Mindoo Philip Park. The field has been resurfaced. The fencing is being re-erected and lights will be installed. The stands will be refurbished.
Sports supplies and equipment will be purchased in bulk. To date, equipment have been distributed to schools, national sports associations, district youth and sports councils and in some cases national, as well as elite athletics.
Some of the equipment procured includes footballs, cricket balls, boots, shoes, javelins, basketballs.
For the first time ever, all eight education districts will be provided with a set of track and field uniforms. The days of kaleidoscope of colors within the same team is fast becoming a thing of the past.
With this allocation, a considerable amount will be used to purchase track shoes for young track and field athletes who grace the tracks of our stadiums barefooted because the running shoes are not available on island or are too expensive.
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME-$300,000.00
A significant amount of this allocation was redirected to offset outstanding amounts owing the contractors.
There will be a considerable effort to continue assisting clubs to strengthen structure and organization.
The Ministry will continue to work with the National Youth Council and other Organizations.