I would like to thank those who have responded to last week’s column regarding our Parish Pride Project, which commences tomorrow on Vesey Street. It is heart-warming to see people willing to pitch in to assist where and when needed.
Along with offers of help, there rightfully came some questions regarding this project, its conception and long-term goal. So today I will try to provide some clarity.
The most common question was this: “Why should we be doing what government workers are paid to do?”
Let me address it in this manner. Before I was an elected parliamentarian, I was a taxpayer.
Odds are that I will be a taxpayer long after I am no longer an elected official. With that being the case, my concerns are shared.
The unfortunate reality we are facing are threefold:
• The vegetation is growing faster than the present amount of staff can keep up with
• Because of budget restraints, the ministry is not hiring more staff
• The focus of the ministry is on major roads, such as Middle Road, versus secondary roads, such as Jubilee Road
So, with that said, it leaves us with two options:
• Allow the vegetation to take over our secondary roads
• Take some initiative and address the challenge as a community
I cannot speak with any surety about other parishes, but what I do know is that people from Devonshire are always willing to do what is needed to resolve issues at hand. Whether it be at our neighbourhood schools or with our local football teams — Devonshire Cougars, Devonshire Colts and Wolves.
As such, we do take much pride in the appearance of our roads. Perhaps, most importantly, we take pride in working together.
So for the next few weeks we will be working together to cut back the excess foliage on several secondary roads such as:
• Vesey Street
• Loyal Hill Road
• Devon Springs Road
• Jubilee Road
• Parsons Lane
Tomorrow’s project will take place between 9am and noon on Vesey Street. For those not familiar with Vesey Street, it is the road on which the National Equestrian Centre is housed and runs along the northern border of Somersfield Academy.
The work to be done will be trimming back trees, raking and bagging up the cut debris. Tools and equipment needed will be hedge trimmers, weed whackers, rakes and gloves.
If you are interested in assisting, please contact myself.
For the duration of the summer months, our focus will be on keeping on top of the vegetation.
After that we will switch to assisting seniors with maintaining their homes with lawn cutting, hedge trimming and wall painting.
In closing, the long-term goal of this project is essentially to have persons working together to not only make our roads cleaner and safer, but to ensure that our seniors get some of their needs met.
Once again, thanking you in advance.
• Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at email@example.com