The City of Castries is perceived as the largest ‘pit’ stop in the Eastern Caribbean, Minister in the Ministry for Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Local Government, Fortuna Belrose, has asserted.
“ One cannot walk around the City without seeing men or even women easing or relieving themselves anywhere around the walls or vegetation of the City and even if one does not witness them, the odor as you go around the walkways tells the story,” Belrose declared.
She was addressing a swearing in ceremony this morning for new Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis and councilors of the Castries Constituency Council.
The Minister said it has been noted that the major challenges for the city of Castries have been those connected to the behaviour of people.
She observed that this is reflected daily in the environment.
Belrose mentioned flooding, the state of cleanliness of the city, vending arrangements, the number of homeless people and above all – crime.
“If we are to encourage the development of a greater level of economic activity so that we can have more money in our pockets, we all need to be conscious of the role that each must play in keeping our environment safe and clean,” the Minister declared.
She explained that to transform the city, people must be prepared to be inconvenienced.
“It cannot be business as usual,” Belrose told this morning’s ceremony.
She noted that the Saint Lucia Vision Plan, published in 2008, speaks to the preservation of historic architecture, preservation of community spaces and the creation of new ones, enhancing the business district with a promenade, the development of a history trail, art in public spaces and establishing a standard for residents and making sure that people have decent homes.
Belrose also spoke of the need to have wi-fi access in certain areas and the development of the transport system.
She asserted that in order to achieve this, the right partnerships must be developed.
“ This is our City, the capital of Saint Lucia and our vision is that our City will become the most vibrant place in the Eastern Caribbean, showcasing our rich heritage and culture in a safe clean environment reflecting the creative genius of our people,” the Minister said.
In addition to Peterson Francis as Mayor, the councilors include Brenda Edwin, Christopher Mitchel, Anselma Calderon, Stephen Chicot and Victor Maurice and Leslie Prospere.