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Young ready for challenge

Published: 
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Parties in final by-election motorcades
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PNM’s Belmont East candidate in tomorrow’s Local Government By- election Nicole Young chats with a resident before the start of her motorcade at Piggot Corner, Belmont, yesterday. Photo by:Anisto Alves

bobie-lee.dixon@guardian.co.tt

People’s National Movement’s Belmont East candidate Nicole Young did not get the massive sea of red she was expecting for her motorcade yesterday, but that did not stop her from seizing the opportunity to speak with and greet residents who turned out to support their potential “would be” councillor.

The motorcade marked the end of Young’s campaigning in her hometown as she gets ready for tomorrow’s Local Government by-election, where she will hope to triumph over the United National Congress’ Lianna Babb-Gonzales and the PEP’s Felicia Holder.

Taking a break during her campaigning, Young told the Sunday Guardian outside the infrastructure issues in the community, the human element was what was needed. Asked about her most memorable experience throughout the campaigning, Young said it was meeting a woman for the first time who embraced her genuinely and told her she loved her.

“I visited her house during our walkabouts and she doesn’t know me, nor did I know her, but she read my profile and when she met me she embraced me and said, ‘Oh gosh, come darling, you don’t know how much I love you and I am proud of you.’

“That just stood out for me, that human element in particular. We know it’s about infrastructure and these different things but at the end of the day it is also about that human connection.”

She described her experience as very exciting as the people of Belmont East positively received her.

“It has been extra motivational for me. I have been speaking with some of the councillors from the Port-of-Spain Corporation and already they tell me it is going to be hard work. But I think I am up to the task because I signed up for this and I am excited to start.”

Young said she plans to do some innovative things in Belmont East, including implementing a collaborative monthly meeting with the various councillors representing south, north and west Belmont.

“I think it would be good for people to meet their councillors so we can all share and exchange ideas as we won’t have all the answers. We want that sort of interconnectivity to share ideas. I really want to champion for it,” Young said, adding the people of Belmont East are very intelligent so she knows great ideas will come from them.

“I really do feel confident. As I said I have been on the ground and the feedback is very motivating and people have welcomed me into the PNM family so I feel confident.”

Resident Ingrid Slinger told the Sunday Guardian there was need for positive things for the youths in the area. She said jobs and recreational sporting centres were missing from the community. She said more sporting centres will contribute to constructive behaviour among the youths, as too many of them have idle time on their hands.

Slinger said she believes that a young positive person like Young will make a huge difference in Belmont. She said Young’s predecessor, the late Darryl Rajpaul, did not impress her, as he did not fulfil many promises he made. However, she said she thinks Young has the drive, youth and passion to do a better job.

Another resident from Belle Eau Road, Akil Patterson, didn’t share the same view on Rajpaul. He said Rajpaul did a lot for the community and felt Young would have huge shoes to fill, although he believed she had already stepped up to the plate and will do well as a new female councillor.

Asked what was the pressing issue that needed to be addressed, he said there was a need for proper waste disposal as there was a serious dumping and garbage collection problem.

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