Residents of the Ninth Electoral District are being promised a higher level of assistance now that their district representative Vincent Wheatley is Deputy Premier.
“As everyone knows, I entered electoral politics because I felt our sister islands needed stronger and bolder representation. Born and bred in the Ninth District, and having lived on Virgin Gorda all my life, you can understand why I want to see improvement in the quality of life for our people,” he said while delivering remarks during his swearing-in ceremony on Friday.
With his new three-month-long stint as Deputy Premier, Wheatley said he hopes to make “further progress” with his mandate as Ninth District Representative and with tackling national issues associated with his ministerial post.”
He said these issues to tackle range from assisting all citizens — especially first-time homeowners — to get access to suitable housing and lands, reducing waste and open-air burning, encourage recycling of appropriate materials, and increase the use of alternative energy.
“[Other plans include] fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and adopting policies to help initiate and maintain small businesses, ensuring access to quality healthcare on both Anegada and Virgin Gorda … improving local road infrastructure and facilities, as well as [improving] inter-island transport and increasing youth programmes and activities.”
In the meantime, Wheatley commended Premier Andrew Fahie for what he termed as a ‘visionary and innovative strategy’ to give all ministers a chance at being Deputy Premier.
“That, is a sign of a good, strong, confident leadership. Great leaders facilitate the development of leadership in others. They build a winning team. They do not prevent subordinates and team members from growing. They recognize that when a team member gets better, the whole team gets stronger.”
Change for the better
He said giving each minister a three-month stint as Deputy Premier has changed his colleagues for the better.
“I have looked at my colleagues who have held this post before, in this arrangement. I have listened very keenly to them speak about their experiences. I see the difference in how they have grown, and gotten better after completing their tour of duty, as compared to before their appointment,” Wheatley said.
He added: I am excited to see the positive impact this will have on me and my ability to deliver in both my role as the Representative for our sister islands as well as that of Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Workforce Development and Immigration.”
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