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2003-04-08 17:52:55

36 Appointed To Urban Renewal Commission

Prime Minister Christie will have the direct responsibility of ensuring that the project works.

A 36-member commission has been appointed to bring social and physical renewal to inner city communities, with the overall goal of reducing the level of crime.

The Urban Renewal Commission, which was announced by Prime Minister Perry Christie on Monday at the Transfiguration Baptist Church Youth Centre, has been appointed to continue the initiatives of the Farm Road Community Project.

The Urban Renewal Commission, is broad-based, drawing its membership from civil society including church groups, community leaders, other professions and public officers.

Under the direction of its Chairman, Dr. David Allen, the Commission will seek to effect the restoration of inner city areas and reduce the level of crime and anti-social behavior in the country.

The announcement of the Commission comes on the heels of the disclosure of there being 54 gangs existing in the country, with 10,000 members, whose age range between 10 to 27 years.

"What we are in the process of now doing, announcing and launching could be the most significant and impactful programme ever launched in the history of this country," said Prime Minister Christie.

"The work of the Commission is intended to touch the lives of all residents of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas when combined with the efforts of the Prison Reform Commission. The work towards a National Youth Service, should provide a comprehensive strategy for the amelioration of those social situations which give rise to crime and other delinquent tendencies among the population as well as provide children and young persons with the guidance and support required for meaningful participation in nation building," said Prime Minister Christie.

"Its success will depend on our abilities to firstly understand the mandate and objectives when put in its broadest terms. The mandate and objectives must necessarily be the upliftment of the Bahamian person, the improvement of the quality of life they enjoy, the fostering and sustaining of understanding or an understanding on their part that each of us have an obligation as citizens or persons residing in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to so conduct ourselves that the net effect will be, we are able to work together, play together and worship together and otherwise develop our country together, transcending all of these obvious and not so obvious differences that have in the past separated us," he said.

Prime Minister Christie admonished those persons who are a part of the Urban Renewal Commission, to begin by way of acknowledgment that the traditional way of doing things now must be thrown out of the window.

"We have the opportunity as a small country, literally to go to every house. You are not to concern yourselves about whether or not we have the resources, your job is to put the country in a position to know, to impose upon the consciousness of our country your findings, and this may take you ultimately to remote parts of The Bahamas and there may be some things you find that we don't want to know, but you need to know, and that is the only way public policy would be informed or newly designed to attack some of the problems of our country, but much more importantly to improve the quality of the lives of our people," he said.

The work of the Urban Renewal Commission is intended to touch the lives of all residents of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. When combined with the efforts of the Prison Reform Commission and the work towards National Youth Service, should provide a comprehensive strategy for the amelioration of those social situations which give rise to crime and other delinquent tendencies among the population, as well as provide children and young persons with guidance and support required for meaningful participation in nation building.

Prime Minister Christie will have the direct responsibility of ensuring that the project works.

Other members of the Commission are: Robert D'Albenas, Bishop Franklyn Ferguson, Mr. Norris Carroll, Inspector Carolyn Bowe, Rev. Randy Fraser, Rev. Terrance Morrison, Pastor Dave Burrows, Dr. Nelson Clarke, Pastor Daniel Clarke, Dr. Ava Thompson, Jessica Minnis, Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson, Mr. Elvis McPhee, Ms. Suzanne Black, Former Inspector Basil Dean, Gregory Sweeting, Mrs. Juliette Barnwell, Mr. Clint Kemp, Father Pat Pinder, Dr. Patty Symonette, Dr. Tony Miller, Mr. Fred Lowe, Ms. Marva Minns, Ms. Kim Sawyer, Mr. William Weeks, Mr. Marlin Johnson, Mr. Barr Nottage, and Mr. Jeff Lloyd.

By Keva Lightbourne, The Nassau Guardian

 
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