From very humbly beginnings and sometimes near impossible circumstances, I still rise to the challenge to serve my community, not for self-praise but simply to enhance the living standard of those around.For well over forty years, I have worked continuously in communities as counselor, pastor, mentor, farmer, villager and friend.
My service as a community leader, and my service to God and man as a local preacher in the Methodist church, has shaped my life and that life is built on the principles of honesty, humility, sound morals and strong family values.
It is with this extended period of public service and a strong religious background that I continue to live out my calling to serve others in a way that they too would recognize that they are just as important as any other.
In 2006 I successfully contested the general election and served in the Legislative Counsel for three years, two years as a member of the opposition and one year a back bencher. Being a member on the opposition bench and a back bencher in the government did not prevent me from representing the people of Montserrat and I did it with pride.
As a member of Team MCAP, in the 2009 general elections, I was once again successful and with my party gaining majority seats in the Legislative Assemble, I was given the portfolio of Minister with responsibility for Agriculture, Land, Housing and the environment. Ecclesiastical Affairs also forms part of that portfolio.
During the last five years 2009-2014, I employed all of my energy to fulfilling the dream of My Government
· The dream of shelter closure,
· The dream of Home ownership
· The dream of Food security
· The dream of raising the profile of Agriculture
· The dream of improving the lifestyle of all residents
· The dream of building a foundation for sound economic growth.
· The dream of good governance and strong leadership.
The ministry under my leadership rose to the challenge raised the living standard of many persons and brought dignity to the lives of other.
Highlights of success in Housing
· We successfully closed all communal shelters and provide permanent housing for the residents.
· We returned most of the leased land on which family units were built to the original owners
· We provided around 150 units of hurricane proof housing for persons who under normal circumstances would have lived in substandard or rental accommodation for the rest of their lives
· We have reduced the construction cost for a standard 2 and 3 bed house by at least 30%
· We bought land in Davy Hill and through Public/Private partnership arrangement constructed sixteen houses for sale on a first come first serve basis
· The housing sector received in excess of $20M in both public and private sector financing of which $7.5M was direct government funds’
· $2.5M was designated to Davy Hill Home Regeneration,
· $2.75M for persons with income under $2, 500.00 per month at an interest rate of 3%
· $2.25M for persons with income $3,500.00/month at an interest rate of 5% with a repayment period of 30 year and in many cases some recipients of these funds are paying as little as $537.00 per month on their loans
· We made available 46 service lots to persons in the middle to upper income group providing them with a pathway to home ownership and
· Through skillful negotiations by my ministry was able to have most financial institutions reduce their interest rate on mortgages for home construction on all government sponsored service lots at an interest rate of 6.5%.
· We completed the second floor of the public market providing office space for some government departments.
· We retrofitted the ground floor of the market converting sections of it into a mini Mall while retaining a portion for public market space
· We will commence work on the of two (2 )apartment Blocks in Davy Hill. Each apartment will consist of 2 three bed unit and 4 two bed unit. These will be available by mid-December, 2014