KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Parliamentary Representative for South Leeward Nigel Stephenson on Friday told Parliament where the “phantom community centre” is located.
He was at the time responding to crosstalk comments by government Members of Parliament during the Budget Debate.
The New Democratic Party administration, which governed for the 17 years ending March 2001, allocated monies for a community centre in Questelles but none was actually constructed there.
“Listen, I am glad that you mention the community centre because I think it is time we put that to rest,” Stephenson said.
“… when the ULP (Unity Labour Party) came into office they have been talking about phantom community centre in Questelles. But there was an investigation. Why don’t you just go out, see how far the investigation got?” he said.
“For three consecutive years in the estimates, money was allocated for that community centre in Questelles. There was never an appropriate piece of land. The government approached a particular family in Questelles to have a piece of land bought, because it was never the policy of the New Democratic Party to just go and oust people off their own land. … but the owner of the land refused to sell,” Stephenson told Parliament.
“But, Mr. Speaker, what happened is the money for the community centre in Questelles was transferred to Penniston where there is a community centre built there,” he further said.
He said the monies allocated to build a community centre in Questelles was transferred to the neighbouring South Leeward community of Penniston after it won the Best Village Competition for three consecutive years.
“That is why it (the community centre) is there. So I hope this issue will be laid be rest,” Stephenson said.
The ULP, since coming to office in 2001, has built a learning resource centre in Questelles.