The Soufriere Regional Development Foundation (SRDF) has once again been brought into the spotlight by United Workers Party (UWP) operatives who have accused the organisation of “reckless” spending.
In a statement issued by the Soufriere/Fond St. Jacques Constituency Branch of the UWP on July 25, 2014, questions were raised over what as referred to as “hundreds of thousands of dollars spent” by the foundation to host the Soufriere Creole Jazz 2014. According to the UWP grouping, the alleged expenditure has severely compromised the sustainability of the foundation and future of the Soufriere people.
The UWP branch said that the finance spent “has had negligible effect on the socio-economic landscape of Sulphur City.”
“What’s more, it has left a gaping hole in the finances of the SRDF,” the statement said, adding that sensible financial management is necessary to address the situation.
“The Soufriere/Fond St. Jacques Constituency Branch of the United Workers Party has always supported the Soufriere Creole Jazz and the attendant benefits derived by the people of Soufriere. However, prudent and responsible financial management are imperative at all levels, especially in today’s economic and fiscal climate of large recurrent deficits, debilitating debt and chronic unemployment,” the statement said.
The party branch also said it blames the “financial mismanagement and poor planning” for the alleged eviction of the SRDF from the Tet Paul Nature Trail in Chateau Belair “because of its failure to pay rent to the landowners.”
“What happens to the staff and the vendors who have worked at this Heritage Tourism Site since December 2008? How are they going to continue to feed their families and pay their bills, especially with a new school year just around the corner? Why has the Foundation gambled with the future sustainable development of the people of Chateau Belair for a one night stand with Kassav?” the UWP branch asked in the statement.
“The Soufriere/ Fond St. Jacques UWP Constituency Branch shares the concern and anxiety of the employees of the Tet Paul Nature Trail, the residents of Chateau Belair, the Soufriere taxi drivers and the tourism community at large who all stand to lose because of the closure of Tet Paul,” it continued.
Moreover, the party branch has “strongly advised” the representative for the area Harold Dalsan and the SRDF to immediately address the matter “by restoring the livelihoods of the many young people affected.”