For over few years back, we have waited for APUA to bring pipe-water to the dozens of homes in Vernons. I could wait no longer. I have given my personal cheque for Fifty One Thousand Five Hundred and Forty One EC Dollars and Thirteen Cents (EC$51,541.13) to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHAPA) to purchase over Six Thousand Feet (6000ft) of PVC pipe to be installed in Vernons Development, Vernons Estate,and part of Gunthropes. The pipes should be installed by March 2004, and every house should then have running water.
Ministry of Public Works
The charge of overspending the Ministry’s budget has been leveled against the Ministry of Public Works during the period of my stewardship. Again, you need to know the facts. Firstly, the records will show that not within the past 35 years, including the period of the PLM Administration, has the Ministry of Public Works completed a financial year within its budget. The reason for this is simple. The Government’s method of planning and accounting, as well as the inability of the system to deal with emergencies and unforeseen projects, make it virtually impossible for any Ministry to set a precise and realistic monetary amount that will not be exhausted within a given time. This was particularly so in the Ministry of Public Works in the past six years, because of several successive hurricanes and the impact they had on the infrastructure. Priority had to be given to repairs, and to other areas such as drainage, sidewalks, road improvement and also to new road building. Further, most critics have disregarded the impact of the country’s phenomenal growth in housing developments, and the resultant demand for roads, utilities and other infrastructure.
The Institute of Technology at the Free Trade and Processing Zone, the Vendors Mall, Vegetable and Craft Markets, and the Abattoir. There was also the Government Office Complex including the beautiful Halls of Justice. The construction of Mount St. John’s Medical Centre was going full speed at the time. These projects demonstrated our capacity during this period to get important things done, and to transform the landscape of Antigua.
The New Vendors Mall and Heritage Quay Shopping Mall