Rowley Almost Lost his House

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley has confessed that he almost lost his house  due to lack of funding by the regional corporation to fix a drain.

Dr Rowley admitted on Monday that he would now have to do fix the problem himself.


He said, “I almost lost my house (in Goodwood Park) two months ago because a drain outside of my house is broken and the corporation can’t fix it because they haven’t got the sand and the cement. And the water came through from the drain into my house, undermined my yard. And I was just there in time to catch the landslide before it cut. Eight inches of separation in my yard. I have to do it myself, but I tell you if a corporation has a revenue stream, it can always do more than if it’s waiting for a handout to pay in cash.”

The prime minister was at the time delivering the feature address at the handover ceremony of a refurbished Skinner Park in San Fernando to the San Fernando City Corporation.

He spoke about his personal situation to state that all regional corporations were having challenges in providing services to their burgesses as a result of a lack in financial resources.

Dr Rowley said it did not make sense to have large facilities that could not be maintained.

“It is ridiculous that you have the physical feature, but you can’t cut the grass because your Corporation doesn’t have gas to put in the equipment, or doesn’t even have the piece of equipment and the grass grow so tall that nobody could play a game on the grass,” he said.

In his thrust towards Local Government reform and the justification of the property tax, he said, “Local Government reform is going to put an end to that because we’re going to collect the property tax, small amount from a lot of people, but it stays in the hands of local government and you will be responsible. So, there will be no question of a park in a community in this nation where the grass grows undisturbed and the people can’t use it, those for whom it was meant to use.”

Dr Rowley said the existing model was not working and also admitted that although elections were held regularly, “we do the same thing, which is largely nothing.”

The new Skinner Park 

The prime minister acknowledged the importance of sport and culture, noting that the park was refurbished during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At a cost of $131 million Skinner Park now has a new football field and cycling track, and can hold 6,000 patrons. The covered pavilion consists of 3,000 seats while the two uncovered pavilions hold 1,500 seats each.

Skinner Park’s facilities also include home and away lockers, dining areas, officials’ lockers, concession stands, elevators, a car park area, a gym, a club room, meeting rooms, eight corporate boxes and VIP box.

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The park is ready in time for the Calypso Fiesta and the Chutney Soca Monarch Finals which have traditionally been held annually at that venue prior to 2020. The park was closed for repairs in 2019.

Apart from the park, Dr Rowley also announced that $1.6 billion will be invested into San Fernando in the next few years.

The reason why emphasis was being placed in San Fernando was that it suffered gravely from the economic losses from the closure of Petrotrin, he explained.

Skinner Park

Dr Rowley said, “I dare tell you that I look forward to the next four to five years in San Fernando, where you will not recognise the city as it grows as one of the fastest in this country.”

Minister of Rural Development and Local Government and Member of Parliament for San Fernando West Faris Al-Rawi, Minister in the Ministry of Finance and MP for San Fernando West Brian Manning, Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Communications, Symon de Nobriga, Agriculture Minister Kazim Hosein and San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello were among the dignitaries attending the ceremony that also included secondary school pupils.


One thought on “Rowley Almost Lost his House

  1. Almost loosing ones house does not give comfort to those who have lost theirs. A show of good faith by offering the desired assistance and seeing it to the end is more meaningful.

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