BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS — One of the last activities in the month-long celebrations by Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, to mark the 28th anniversary of his election as a parliamentarian, was a well-attended one-on-consultation session held on Saturday, November 27.
“Today we had a very good and productive event to wit, our one-on-one consultation,” said Dr Harris who was first elected as the Area Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Seven (Bellevue to Ottley’s) on November 29, 1993. “This consultation was intended to be part of the commemorative events to mark my 28th anniversary as a member of parliament, and we did have a huge turnout today and the persons really have come from beyond the constituency.”
The consultations were held at the Edgar T. Morris Primary School in Tabernacle Village, where participants waited under a huge tent erected on the school’s grounds, and they met with their Area Parliamentary Representative/Prime Minister in one of the classrooms where each was allowed a five-minute session.
To save on time, some of the attendees chose to come in twos, and others in threes, and all had the opportunity to let off what was on their mind in terms of their needs when they came face-to-face with Dr Harris, who is known to be a keen listener. He has in the past stated that he is always happy to facilitate as many of them as possible and where need be, he refers them to the appropriate departments of Government.
While these particular consultations were meant for his constituents, as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to them for having given him the opportunity to represent them as a parliamentarian, there were more persons from outside the constituency. Indeed, the first person to see him was from Constituency Number One, East Basseterre.
“I am happy that we were able to facilitate many of them, and at the same time strike the balance to ensure that the constituents, for whom these one-on-one consultations are primarily geared, had an opportunity to meet with me,” pointed out Dr Harris.
No one is ever turned back, including those who do not get to see him, as was the case on Saturday where even after the 5 ½ hours marathon session he was still not able to meet with all of them, but at the end of it no one felt ignored.
“Because of the huge turnout, we have had to put on another one which will happen in the course of the week and certainly not later than Saturday of the week coming, barring any unforeseen events,” stated the Honourable Prime Minister. “So, from the vantage point of the turnout, I would say there have been an outstanding success and it shows that people want to have these kinds of private, more intimate dialogue.”
In thanking all who turned out, Prime Minister Harris observed that some of the matters brought forward were wide-ranging issues from housing to jobs, to issues with respect to their community, to ongoing work relationship, to matters related to the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP).
“I shall continue doing what I am doing on behalf of the people,” reaffirmed Dr Harris, who added: “Indeed it is to continue to deliver, and one of the reasons for the consultations is that by hearing, listening and taking heed of the advice, the suggestions, the concerns, hopefully and most definitively I should be in a better position to deliver – to deliver more to their satisfaction, and to deliver in accordance with their felt needs as they have expressed it, and as I have understood it.”
Activities on the calendar of activities to mark the 28th anniversary of Prime Minister Harris’ election to parliament continue on Sunday morning November 28 with a morning worship service at the House of Deliverance New Testament Church of God in Tabernacle with Pastor Octavia Charles-Warner.
That will be followed by a luncheon to the hosted on the grounds of the Edgar T. Morris Primary School, as a way of giving back to the constituents for the faith and confidence they would have reposed in him over the last 28 years.
“This closure – one-on-one consultation – has helped tremendously in helping me to understand what needs to be done in the name of the people,” said the Honourable Prime Minister in conclusion. “Hearing it from them, hearing their concerns, and their passion has been a powerful motivator for me to stay on target and to stay focused.”