Minister of Finance and PNM candidate for Diego Martin North/East Colm Imbert ,along with Community Development Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, turned the sod for the Belle Vue Community Centre, Dibe, St James, on Friday.
In his address Imbert said the centre will replace the existing one, which was built about 55 years ago. It is expected to be completed in a year.
He said, “The PNM government which came into power in the 60s began a programme of constructing community centres all over TT.
"So much has happened in this tiny space. A pre-school has been here for many years, but it made it difficult for the village council to carry on other activities. But this is one of the vibrant village councils, and it is time for something new.”
“The problem with centres like this is that it is only one room, so you can only do one thing at a time.”
Imbert said the current building will be torn down, and replaced with a brand new one that could house even more community activities. The centre will be moved a few metres to where a small pavilion stands now.
He added that a pre-school will also be built nearby. The centre will also have a daycare centre, computer lab, provisions for library services and adult literacy and a stage.
He lauded Gadsby-Dolly for her hard work and said she had done more than all other ministers of community development put together in his 30 years in Parliament.
Gadsby-Dolly said built 41 community centres had been built in the past five years.
“We are here delivering. That is what we are all about. We have a mandate to deliver to communities. We have the government’s will behind us, and that is what we use to perform,” she said.