Minister of Transport and Local Government, the Hon. Renward Wells spent the entire day on Grand Bahama, traveling from east to west, listening to concerns and answering questions from members of various local government councils. Minister Wells arrived in Freeport, Grand Bahama, early on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Transport, the Port Department and Local Government Administrators. Taking the time to hear the concerns of Administrators from every township throughout the island, Minister Wells encouraged many of the leaders to get together with residents from their respective communities and put their concerns in writing, to ensure that it not only reach his attention, but catch the attention of other relevant government agencies.
“Local government can be found throughout the islands and so are the appendages and departments in the ministry of transport and so I’m touring the country, going to all of the major islands and looking at the departments that are under my portfolio, listening to the concerns of both the employees and residents of the various islands and seeking to address any issues they may have,” said Minister Wells. “Since landing in the nation’s second city, I’ve been to east end and to the west and in Freeport proper and it’s an opportunity to hear from everyone concerned with these various departments.”
And residents weren’t shy about expressing their concerns. There were worries about the need for more financial backing, the concern about more help to clean up communities, the renovating of the East End Seawall, the critical need for road repairs, concerns about workers becoming permanent and pensionable, the need for a variety of equipment and other distresses. “There were some of the usual concerns that you would expect, with a few little niche concerns, infrastructural issues that they would like for the government to address, water and sewerage issues, electrical grid matters and employment concerns. “So, I’m here in Grand Bahama looking at all of these issues to see how my ministry can help resolve some of these pressing matters for and on behalf of the Bahamian people.”
In East End, Minister Wells toured the new Memorial Park, the government offices there, as well as the new post office for East Grand Bahama. In West End, Minister Wells toured the Administrator’s office in Eight Mile Rock and during his meeting with representatives from all of the townships, the Minister heard the cry of residents from Bootle Bay, who are requesting that the government take control of what was once a private subdivision, but which the owners had abandoned a long time ago. “I’ve heard the cries of the people in West End about the need for more money for their respective townships,” said Minister Wells. “You know there is always the need for more money. The Bible says that money answers all things, and so that seems to be human cry as I move throughout the country. Most of the townships are asking for a little bit more funding.
“I am dedicated to seeing what I can do to help to provide that extra funding for them, so that the townships can meet the requests and demands of the folks that they are in touch with and the people who they represent.” In Freeport, Minister Wells toured the Post Office, where the government recently carried out some repairs. He also met the employees at the Road Traffic Department, where he was assured that the new system was working well for the island. Minister Wells also stopped in at the Port Department and the Department of Local Government. The Minister said that the concerns of local government council members and issues facing employees in the various departments where he visited did not fall on deaf ears. He said he is committed to doing his part to help local governments throughout the country operate smoothly and effectively.