CEREBRAL Palsy Society president Philip Metivier has signalled the group’s intention to step up protest action to coerce government to open the National Enrichment Centre at Carlsen Field in Chase Village. He was responding to statements by Social Development Minister Cherrie-Ann Critchlow-Cockburn who told reporters at a media conference on Tuesday that the $29 million facility would be completed by year’s end.
She said the facility requires some remedial work including repairs to the pool, plumbing, pumps and roof, replacement of roof tiles and installation of air conditioning. However, Metivier said the ministry had only spoken about the facility after the society protested outside the facility on July 13.
“We want to step up protest action because if we didn’t protest in the first place, nothing would have happened, nobody would have talked about ‘by year end it opening’. Is three years now that place was built and government just shut it down.”
Metivier said the ministry has not contacted the society following last Friday’s protest. “Nobody has updated us.
They didn’t even call us to talk about the opening of the facility. Nothing is wrong with the pool, that place could open today but they are only pussyfooting for a next year again.”
He noted that even if the facility was in need of minor repairs, the society should still be allowed to hold their meetings including therapy sessions in it.
He said members are preparing to step up protest action which may include sending the ministry a pre-action protocol letter demanding the facility be opened as well as a silent protests outside the Parliament building and at President’s House.
He also denied claims that the society still receives a caregiver’s grant and subventions, saying this has been stopped by the ministry for the past two years.