Former PM calls for community center to be used for its intended purpose

Gray’s Green Community Center (file photo)
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By Carlena Knight

The former prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer has made a call for the St John’s Magistrates’ Court to be moved from Gray’s Green Community Center, so that the facility could be utilized for its intended purpose.

The relocated courtrooms began sittings at the complex last April and despite repeated claims that the move was temporary, to date the residents of Grays Green have not been able to benefit from it.

At the time, the move was welcomed by residents of Gray’s Farm and Greenbay, and a number of them shared their frustration with the sudden takeover of the complex.

Spencer, who is also the former member of parliament for the area, played a key role in bargaining with the Chinese government for the complex to be built in Gray’s Farm.

He recently expressed hope that the courta will move out of the complex in the near future so that “it can fulfill it’s true purpose”.

“I just want to say to the authorities that the community center that’s there — and I know it is being utilized for other purposes now — I hope that situation will change like yesterday and that we will put that facility to the use of the people in the Gray’s Green community because that is what it was designed to do and so I am really hoping that moves are made very quickly to address that situation,” he said.

He said every effort should be taken by the government to return the facility to the people.

“The authorities felt that they needed to use it for that purpose; whether it is right or wrong is beside the point now. What I am saying is every effort should be made to ensure that that does not continue to happen for any extended period and that that facility should be made available to the people of the Gray’s Green community for the purposes that it was designed to do. It is very, very important that that be done and be done as quickly as possible,” Spencer mentioned.

Health Minister Molwyn Joseph recently told Observer media that he agreed that the complex should be returned to the Gray’s Green community. He further shared his hope that the government can resolve the matter soonest so the complex can be used for the social development of the people.

The St John’s Magistrates’ Court was moved from its former location on the corner of High and Temple streets in the city, due to poor working conditions.

However, proposed renovation work on the premises have been delayed.

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