A full semester after the hurricanes has elapsed but a number of the Territory roads remain in a deplorable condition, and persons are calling on government to do remedial repairs. Some wonder what the tourists and visitors think when they arrive and experience the bumpy rides. However, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering explained that the situation is not as easy as dumping asphalt.
During his appearance on the Honestly Speaking radio talk show with Claude Skelton-Cline the Minister admitted that the roads are in dire need of repairs and said that he is bothered by the state of some of the roads as well: “I have to make a public confession I am distressed about that but…I hate to say it publicly, but I have to say it. They say confession is good for the soul, but there is nobody more distressed with roads leading to East End passing through my community than I am. You only have to look at where I live.”
When asked why six months later some of the Territory roads have not been fixed the Deputy Premier said that a lack of finance is responsible. “It comes down to having the cash to be able to pay the vendors.”
Dr. Pickering noted that it is not a case of the government being broke as some might have said. The situation is a cash flow matter: “The first three months of the year there is always an issue with cash flow.” Indeed, this is a well known trend even in the private sector during normal times, figure it out now or ask a loan manager at any of the banks here.
The Deputy Premier said that at this juncture it is important that the government is able to pay vendors: “We can’t just keep taking people’s stuff. We don’t have an asphalt plant, it comes from a private vendor and we have to get the asphalt from some place.” And some may add that we need better workmanship than what we got in the past.
He explained that the vendors have been working with government and being patient but at this time the businesses need money: “They have been doing it out of goodwill but there comes a point in time where they need cash flow to keep their business growing. That is part and parcel of how business works people need cash flow to keep them going.”