– tax amnesty, sports facilities and better drainage promised
By: Devina Samaroo
For decades the Albouystown Community has been trapped under a negative veneer of piercing stereotypes causing a magnitude of outsiders to shudder even at thought of taking a stroll through the village.
But having grown up and lived in such a suppressing environment, there is a burning desire to influence significant change within.
David Williams was born and raised in the Albouystown area and the announcement of Local Government Elections (LGE) gave him the perfect opportunity to pursue his dream of transforming the community for the better.
Contesting under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Williams has a strong game-plan to restore vibrancy and return an empowering voice to residents with the aim of fostering greater relationships.
“I felt that I can make a difference in my community. This is a community that has always been in a negative light to persons on the outside. I know I have the knowledge and knowhow to enhance my community to make it a better place for the residents,” the LGE candidate declared with devotion.
Williams will be up against three other candidates inclusive of David Allicock from Team Benschop and Malcolm Ferreira from Team Legacy who are all vying for a seat on the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to represent the demands and desires of the residents of constituency 10: Albouystown/Charlestown.
Nonetheless, Williams is positive he will emerge victorious.
Recognising the dilemma whereby majority of families in the area are unable to pay their taxes and that M&CC is in desperate need of revenue, Williams proposed a tax amnesty programme to address the issue.
His vision includes the implementation of a three-month amnesty period for residents whereby the Council will be deducting all the accumulated interests on taxes from homeowners.
“I know there are a lot of delinquent taxpayers here and I know the Mayor and City Council needs revenue… but my plan is not to pressure residents but introduce a system that will benefit both parties,” he explained.
The second most pressing problem is that of crime and Williams’ counter strategy includes dispatching more city police in the vulnerable areas to engage in more aggressive patrols.
He highlighted that criminal activities mainly occurred in the Le Penitence Market area so he posited that more focus needs to be placed there to ensure both shoppers and venders feel safer whilst doing business.
Additionally, he plans to rehabilitate the market and particularly, to improve the lavatory facilities.
Also top on his agenda is the issue of drainage. Notably, Albouystown is almost always inundated whenever it rains, causing severe damages to property, food and utmost discomfort to residents.
Being a victim himself to these harsh conditions, Williams will ensure there is a systematic approach to dealing with the drainage problem.
He noted that teams will be employed to clean drains and canals in the community on a regular basis so as to avoid constant flooding. He also pledged to ensure the Sussex Street Koker is functioning at all times.
“We want permanent staff to address the draining. Not to employ people once a year to do “clean out my country” works. And I will also be lobbying for these permanent staff to be residents within the constituency,” he stated.
Williams also wants to develop state-of-the-art sporting facilities in the area to encourage youth to be engaged in meaningful activities.
He lamented the fact that there is only one sporting facility, the St Stephen’s Ground in Charlestown.
Williams intends to transform the ground into a prime sporting facility over time.
“So we want to rehabilitate that ground, get floodlights installed, etc,” he said.
He also wants to construct a community centre within his constituency, inclusive of a playground and other family-oriented recreational facilities.
In fact, he has already earmarked an area along Independence Boulevard for such a facility.
Positive that his is the master plan for community development, Williams is encouraging residents to vote for betterment by voting for him on March 18.