THERE were mixed reactions from Quarry Drive, Champs Fleurs residents yesterday to United National Congress (UNC) candidate in the St Joseph bye-election Ian Alleyne, with some people willing to give him a chance to make good on his promises of delivery and others saying that his platform antics make him unsuitable to be a Member of Parliament.
Alleyne, host of popular television show Crime Watch, held a walkabout yesterday with campaign manager and Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Ganga Singh and a small group of supporters. Lack of water was one of the major concerns of the residents. A female resident reported that at times they receive a water supply once per week and then very late in the night.
“Sometimes you sleep and wake and water come and gone and you eh get,” she said. She pointed out that there was a century-old well from which they drew water but it was only covered by a sheet of galvanise. She asked Alleyne that a hut be built over it and a device installed to easily pull up the water. Alleyne promised that work will begin on that well this week. He told the media it was “unbelievable” to hear that people were receiving water once every two weeks and waiting 49 years for a walkway.
“I don’t know who they voting for but rest assured as of tomorrow (today), in fact I just contacted…Minister Ganga Singh, I’m going to get my people from tomorrow (today), even from WASA (Water and Sewerage Authority) to come. The water problem and the walkway, I going to address that by this week,” he promised.
Some of the other issues were unemployment, the lack of a recreation ground, road restoration and box drains. Questioned what makes him different from politicians that have made promises to residents Alleyne responded: “I am a performer.” He said that he has been walking in the area for about 15 days and he has facilitated projects together with the Government in the Mt Lambert area and facilitated residents in the “Bangladesh” Farm Road area to get Certificates of Comfort. Catherine Jackson, 78, said her road needed to be fixed and she had trouble walking down the road. “(Politicians) only promising and promising and nothing happening,” she told Alleyne. One resident said he supported the Prime Minister but he does not believe Alleyne will make a good politician and would not vote for him.
“I listen to him Saturday in the (UNC) rally and he didn’t talk about the people. Just on Om Lalla, (PNM political leader Dr Keith) Rowley and Crime Watch. Crime Watch gone, we pass that,” he said.
One woman advised that Alleyne should “change his language” on the platform and he did not seem prepared to be an MP.