Leader of the Opposition, Lennox Linton, has called for works on the Marigot Hospital to commence no later than September 2018.
In his response to the 2018/2019 Budget on Thursday, Linton said the matter has been a ‘sore point’ for residents of the area.
“This new Marigot Hospital is a sore point for the residents of the North East from Crayfish River to Calibishie. We trust that nothing stands in the way of a commencement of work to no later than September 2018,” he said.
According to Linton, in last year’s budget an amount of $18.8-million was provided over two years for construction of the new Marigot Hospital – $14.1 million by way of a grant from the government and people of Mexico and $4.7 million from local funds, “$6.4-million would be spent in year one and $12.4-million in year two.”
“It didn’t happen,” he stated.
He added that in this year’s budget an amount of $20.25-million is provided: $1.5-million will be spent this year; $9.5 million next year; and $9.25-million in the final year. And that is why the matter remains a sore point, he noted.
He mentioned further that in this year’s budget, as was the case in last year’s budget an amount of $20 million is budgeted to correct the wave overtopping problem at Melville Hall that has been destroying vehicles with salt water for over a decade.
“Budgeting money to deal with this issue and not spending it has become a display of disrespect that pressures the restraint of Christian people of good conscience,” Linton stated. “We need work to commence on the resolution of the decade-old problem no later than September 2018. “
Meantime, he said some years ago, citizens with long-standing interests in land in the housing area at Melville Hall were promised that land reserved for them by the Housing Division would be officially allocated.
“This has not happened,” he remarked.
As a result, he said persons willing to build are unable to do so and in some instances, allocations agreed to are being compromised by intervening arrangements.
“Again, we are asking the government and the minister responsible to give urgent attention to what has become a particularly vexing matter,” Linton stated.