Simon shares his plans for St. Mary’s South in the areas of agriculture, emergency funding, and vocational training

Kelvin “Shugy” Simon, the United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate
for St. Mary’s South, is outlining plans for the constituency as he
prepares for a by-election expected by early October.

During Monday night’s town-hall meeting in Urlings, Simon spoke of
the neglect the constituency has endured for the past nine years
under the Antigua Labour Party representative, Samantha Marshall.

Traditionally, St. Mary’s South has been known as a vibrant farming
community; however, Simon notes, during Marshall’s terms in office,
the agriculture sector was left to run down. 

He points to the Cades Bay Agricultural Station, where the once-
dominant Antigua Black Pineapple flourished. But under Marshall as
the minister of agriculture, the farm was practically abandoned and
is now overrun with grass and bushes. 

Simon says his vision is to revive the farm – which he says is now a
“paddock” – so that the area can be used to grow pineapples once

He speaks, as well, of Christian Valley, which he says is high on his
agenda, noting that this area has very fertile land that is currently
being underused and, therefore, it under-produces.

Simon says the Browne Administration has not created an avenue
for more young people to get into the agriculture sector, in spite of
the interest they have shown.

Among Simon’s ambitions for St. Mary’s South is the establishment
of an emergency fund. He says that a committee has already been
put in place to conduct research on its feasibility, so that in case of
an emergency, such as hurricanes or fires, residents can be assisted
through this means.

The UPP candidate also intends to focus on the community’s young
people, and he will seek to reintroduce vocational training by way of
a unit of the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Continuing Education

He says he already has a potential investor and has held discussions
on this project with the minister of education. 

Simon, an educator and counselor for 16 years, says he knows,
firsthand, the benefits of a good education – especially on a mind
that is open to learning.  And many young people become wayward
– not because of a lack of knowledge, but because of the lack of
opportunity, he concludes.