Bascome makes police station a priority
A candidate in the race to be Mayor of St George said a police station in the Olde Towne was a priority.
Kenneth Bascome, a former mayor who stepped down to become an MP for the One Bermuda Alliance, said he would seek the support of councillors to tackle problems in St George’s, and a police station would help.
He said: “I have been talking about this for the last nine years.
“It’s something that is needed for the community, and with the development of a hotel, a five-star hotel development, it’s even more necessary.
“My belief is that if you have police on a continuous basis, a lot of problems could be nipped in the bud.”
The previous police station was closed in 2012 for repairs but never reopened and the area is now covered by the Southside station in St David’s.
Wayne Caines, the national security minister, said in 2017 that the old station had deteriorated so much it was unusable.
Mr Bascome said he decided to throw his name in the hat for Thursday’s election when he heard Quinell Francis, the outgoing mayor, was to stand down.
He said: “I don’t believe that the corporation has done anything other than what was already put on the table by myself and Garth Rothwell.
“I and other One Bermuda Alliance MPs worked very diligently for the community of St George’s in Parliament.
“The Progressive Labour Party has been in power for two years now and they haven’t given St George’s anything.”
Mr Bascome added he had backed the construction of a new St Regis hotel in St George’s, despite criticism, which was an example of the OBA’s work to boost the East End.
He said: “I have gotten all sorts of flak with that project, but now that it’s in full swing everyone seems to be embracing it.”
Mr Bascome added Duke of York Street was in “a deplorable state” and he wanted it resurfaced, as wall as improvements to disabled access around the town.
He said he hoped to tackle the problem of late night transport to and from St George.
Mr Bascome said: “I will also attempt, with the committee, to meet with all the restaurants and those responsible for transportation to try to bring some sort of resolution to the fact that at night it’s very difficult to find transportation to leave St George.”
He added that he wanted to make better use of the town’s World Heritage Site status.
Mr Bascome said that finding cash for improvements had always been a problem, but he had worked in the past to overcome obstacles.
He said: “I served on the corporation from 1994 up to 2012, and we were always complaining that we didn’t have any funding.
“I spoke to the Minister of Finance and the minister responsible for the municipalities, and they were able to come up with heritage funding through a tax on the fuel coming into the island.”
He added it was important to aim for goals that were “tangible and achievable”.
Mr Bascome said he was prepared to work with the Government, which wants to turn the corporations of St George and Hamilton into unelected quangos.
He added: “We will cross that road when we get to it, but I believe it would be to the Government’s benefit to work with whoever the Mayor is to make sure the municipality doesn’t slide into any more of a state of disrepair.”
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