A look at Port of Spain North/St Ann’s West…
“SEEING YOUNG IS LIKE SEEING SANTA CLAUS ONCE A YEAR”
By PETER GREEN
When Stuart Richard Young was admitted to the local Bar in 1998, there were very high hopes from friends and family that he would turn out to be a first-class lawyer.
These hopes were boosted when he joined the chambers of Douglas Mendes SC and excelled in civil litigation. He loved the media limelight when he won cases.
In his early days as a lawyer, Young had no interest in politics. But when his crew, Mendes, Michael Quamina and Reginald Armour SC, started to represent then Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, Young took a liking to politics.
In 2014, Young accepted Rowley’s offer to be an Opposition Senator and soon be became a spokesman for the PNM on crime.
It came as no surprise when Young offered himself to be a candidate for Port-of-Spain North/St Ann’ West in the 2015 General Elections. He got the nod after then MP Patricia McIntosh decided not to contest. Young easily won his seat and became part of the PNM Government.
That is when everything started to go downhill for this bright attorney. He was appointed Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and Minister in the Office of the Attorney General. In other words, Young was a Junior Minister who gained Cabinet status because he was a close associate of Rowley.
Young a former student of St Mary’s College, then became Minister of Communications and in 2018, replaced the hopeless Edmund Dillon as Minister of National Security.
Young was overseeing three Ministries and soon was called a “Super Minister”, “Minister Extraordinaire”, and “Minister of Everything”. Along with his ministerial duties, he accompanied Rowley on all overseas trips.
Because of his Ministerial duties, Young has little or no time for the constituents of Port-of-Spain North/St Ann’s West. He hardly goes to his constituency office, and when he does, he sees only a few residents and he forgets that he rode the backs of the very said constituents to gain political office. It has reached the stage where constituents are no longer going to Young’s office to see him on any matter.
Young went full throttle supporting Nicole Young for the by-election for Belmont East in the Port-of-Spain City Corporation on July 16, 2018. Although Nicole won and got 566 votes, she got almost 200 fewer votes than her predecessor.
The UNC who never had a foot in this part of Port-of-Spain, got 151 votes and PEP, 51. Now word on the ground is that Nicole has been rejected as a candidate for the same Belmont East area in the Local Government Elections 2019.
During her short stint, Nicole had been accessible to her burgesses. She was always seen on the ground, whether it was a clean-up exercise, having pavements replaced or getting water for the residents.
What has Stuart Young done? His constituents are asking.
Residents of Cascade and St Ann’s are at the mercy of criminals these days and they say, in spite of this, little help has come from their MP, the Minister of National Security.
One resident of Cascade, Emily Maharaj, told Sunshine Today, that there is an undeclared curfew in her area. She said several families have been robbed in recent months. Some of them have reported the robberies to the police but she knew as a fact, two victims who refused to go to the police.
Crime haunts Young in his constituency
On August 5, Matthew De Silva was shot dead by bandits as he returned to his home in St Ann’s. “I knew this family. I knew Matthew. So sad. Did our MP visit this home? Not once,” said one constituent who preferred to remain anonymous.
Following this murder, the Councillor for St Ann’s/Cascade/Mon Repos West, Sherwin Jones said he planned to meet with the Belmont Police to discuss security concerns and the increased robberies in the area.
He stated, “I intend to ask for increased police visibility 24/7, although a lot of roadblocks and patrols take place frequently. “Despite this, there have been infrequent patrols in St Ann’s and Cascade, although the official residence of the Prime Minister is in this area.
Denzil Jones, a resident of St Ann’s, still remembers the brutal murder of former Director of the National Museum and Art Gallery, Dr Claire Broadbridge at her Fondes Amandes, St Ann’s home, on September 2017.
Jones said there were other murders since Young has been MP and Young, the Minister of National Security is not the least bit concerned.
Cascade pensioner, Donaldson Mottley, 67, was found murdered at his Hislop Trace home in March 2016. PH taxi driver, Colin “Crabby” Harewood, 35, from Casablanca Road, Cascade, was shot and killed near his home on March 22, 2016. Motape Hutchinson, 30, of Ariapita Road, St Ann’s, was shot to death on the roadway on August 1,
Jones said the criminals live in the community. He singled out an area at Ariapita Road where these criminals live. “It boggles the mind why the police have not gone into this area yet. I am hopeful that Gary Griffith would lead his troops there. I am nervous every time my dogs bark. These miscreants use drains in the area to gain access to homes.”
In Belmont, resident Patricia Huggins said “seeing Young is like seeing Santa Claus.” She said Government has done very little for the people of Belmont and environs. “But this place is PNM, and doh matter what happens, we will vote back the PNM in the elections. I have been around since Dr Eric Williams and Belmont has not improved.”
She added, “I am hoping we get another MP in 2020 because Mr. Young is not working for us. I believe he does not appreciate the poor constituents. Plus, crime is rampant throughout this area. Too many youngsters are seen liming on blocks and this spells
Word on the ground is that Young will be the same candidate in the 2020 General Elections for the constituency of Port of Spain/St Ann’s West and “who doh like it, could get to Hell outa here.”