It was Senator Shawn Nicholas who passionately decried the state of disrepair into which most of our police stations have fallen. Many of the police officers have had to be relocated to new quarters on account of the decrepit conditions in which they have been forced to work. The police stations are a national disgrace.
But they are not alone. Seems, the plight of our police stations are of a piece with this failing, falling administration – its inability to repair and maintain the government edifices. Of course, some of the problems in our collapsing government buildings predate this feckless administration that supposedly was the panacea for all that ailed us. These were the geniuses that ascribed unto themselves messianic virtues. Sadly, these past seven years have proven this Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) deification to be rather premature, for we are saddled with a weak, ineffective, visionless, moribund administration that, notwithstanding the chest-beating and braggadocio, has underwhelmed us with its ability to perform its most basic duties with any level of competency.
Even the party faithful have become disillusioned. After all, this administration infamously bungles almost everything that it touches. See the spectacularly failed Nomad Digital Residence programme, the fanciful Willoughby Bay project, and the embarrassing Choksi matter as exhibits A, B and C. Talk about dashed hopes! There is a thinking in some circles that this administration will have to make like Santa Claus for the upcoming election in order to maintain its grip on power.
Anyway, we here at NEWSCO decided to take a cursory look around our fair State in order to ascertain the level of decay and blight among the government holdings. We did not have to look very far. The St John’s Health Centre is arguably the filthiest, ugliest eye-sore in our city. What a shame! And yes, the curtains (which look like old bed sheets) are a discoloured, dirty mess. At the Health Centre, mind you. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that folks could get sick, just being in that building, what with the peeling paint and all its other unhealthy features. Mercifully, they have surrounded it with a fence, and we suspect that it will be many moons hence before repairs are effected, if ever, under this bereft administration.
Then continue up Market Street to the Central Marketing Corporation (CMC) building. It could use a facelift. This once-beautiful building added so much to the aesthetics of St John’s, but it is now a ghost of its former self, what with broken tiles on the entrance stairs and four or five abandoned telephone booths desecrating the entrance, among other unsightly aspects. Sigh!
Of course, on almost every street in St Johns City, there are potholes galore. We’ll cite the dreadful pothole on the corner of St Mary’s Street and Independence Avenue, right next to the Treasury building as Exhibit D. It diminishes the beauty of the Treasury building, and it’s been there for quite some time. Seems, nobody cares. All along Independence Avenue there are dastardly potholes. For example, there are two mini-craters at the top of Nevis Street, when making a left onto Independence Avenue, and one in front of the Social Security building at the top of Long Street, when making a left onto the Avenue.
And don’t talk about the rotten and abandoned benches just west of the Sunshine Hub Car Park. This administration appears to be oblivious as to how poorly they speak of us. Not forgetting to mention the absolutely horrible condition of Country Pond. Again, those in high places cannot seem to summon the will to do anything about it. And let us not forget the once-grand Social Security building on Long Street. We allowed it to rot away under us!
And then there is the National Museum on Long Street. It needs some serious work, especially on the façade. And the Courthouse on upper High Street. We have heard some recent chatter about getting the repairs done. We will believe it when we see it! Last we heard, they were waiting on some plans and drawings. Don’t laugh, folks.
Interestingly, our good Minister of Health, the Honourable Molwyn Joseph, recently decried the rundown condition of many of our community and church cemeteries. He spoke with righteous indignation about how poorly we had been treating the final resting places of our loved ones, and he waxed grandiose about giving them a facelift. We certainly trust that he will expand that vision and concern for cemeteries to the St John’s Public Cemetery, and many of the clinics and other buildings under his purview. Not that we are holding our breaths about his promise to do something about the cemeteries, if you know what we mean. Think, grandiloquence!
Meanwhile, we hope that somebody, somewhere, in some ministry will look to securing someone to plant beautiful plants in the new roundabouts. As it is, without those plants, the roundabouts have an unfinished quality. We’re talking aesthetics! We’re talking pride! To their credit, the folks in the Blue Waters, Crosbies, Cedar Grove area have planted a number of lovely plants in their roundabout on the Blue Water main road. Bravo!
Folks, we need to do something about the aforementioned deficiencies, or all will fall down.
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