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Warren: ‘I’ll give people a voice’

  • Elmore Warren (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Independent candidate Elmore Warren has reached out for the support of the public, pledging to work for the people rather than a party.

In a press conference overlooking Pembroke Marsh, Mr Warren said he wanted to give the public a voice in the House of Assembly and bring the community together to tackle issues in Constituency 21.

He said that party politics had failed to produce results in the area, noting several areas ripe for improvements.

“The bathrooms have been fixed two times in ten years,” he said. “It’s a mess over there. If you look behind me, there are two containers. The day before yesterday, there was one container. One container has been there for years and no one is saying anything.

“There are broken fences and no one is saying anything. The bathrooms are a complete atrocity. How can there be an MP saying they are walking the area and these things are allowed to take place?”

Mr Warren, the owner and operator of Fresh TV, is set to go toe-to-toe against the incumbent Rolfe Commission, representing the Progressive Labour Party, and OBA candidate Rodney Smith, on July 18 in what has historically been a strong PLP seat.

While independent candidates have historically faced an uphill battle, he said there was room for change in the constituency if the electorate want it.

“Just under 500 people didn’t vote in the last election, but the electorate gave the party the seat by 385 odd votes,” he said. “There are still 500 votes out there without touching that if the people decided for change.”

Mr Warren said that one key element of his platform was that if elected, he would empower voters to recall him if they were not pleased with his performance.

“This is power. This is accountability,” he said. “I am not in this to be a lifer, I am here to set a new standard. A new standard for accountability and representation.”

He also said that he would put ten per cent of his salary as an MP towards building a committee structure to ensure that voters can be involved in coalitions across the constituency to tackle issues.

Noting that the constituency stretches from Front Street to the former Pembroke Dump, he said that there was a major economic disparity in the area, arguing that if all groups come around the table, mutually beneficial solutions can be found.

“We can talk about major issues that are out there in the community and have understanding,” he said. “Understanding is the key.

“There is intellectual property, there is wealth, but at the same time the perception there is a part of Bermuda that is burdening the working people or the high class or the pensioners. There is this difference of opinion is what is important.”

Giving an example, he said if a group of people in the north side of the constituency found work, the tax burden would be lightened for all, and less will be needed for financial assistance and insurance.

On more national issues, he said more needs to be done to reduce the price of healthy foods. Mr Warren said that while the Government had been reluctant to regulate the cost of groceries, it had passed rules limiting the cost of diagnostic tests, which he described as hypocrisy.

And he said that Government needed to “get out of the way of progress”, allowing entrepreneurs greater leeway to empower themselves.

“If an entrepreneur decides to pop up a tent in town and start making money, you are going to have someone come and ask about their licences and their permission,” he said. “Well, the containers don’t have permission, the [abandoned] cars don’t have permission and the trash doesn’t have permission, but it’s being allowed to stay.

“Is that right? No, so we’re going to chase innovation and progress and get someone off of social insurance.”

Mr Warren invited residents to talk to him at the Happy Valley Child Care Centre on Sunday, where he pledged to answer any questions they might have.

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