The newly elected representative for Bethel/ Mt Irvine, Pastor Terance Baynes, is ready to fix some of the ills in his electoral district.
Despite the "political conundrum” caused by the six-six deadlock in the THA, Baynes, also the political leader of the Tobago Forwards, is ready to get to work.
Born and bred in the village of Bethel, Baynes was sworn in as the new assemblyman on Thursday, after beating the PNM’s incumbent Shomari Hector. Baynes won 1,045 votes and Hector received 1,028.
As a minister of religion, Baynes recalled throughout his campaign his most fulfilling moment was having candid conversations with residents and also being afforded the privilege to pray for some people who requested it and who were appreciative of it.
“That, to me, brought the greatest joy, and also when I had the opportunity to help some people who had physical needs; whether it be providing foodstuff for them or we got a wheelchair for a gentleman, a pair of crutches for another person. Doing whatever we could have done in our capacity to help those things brought tremendous encouragement and fulfilment,” he said.
He added that Bethel requires a lot of attention and he is willing to work on improving the district.
“Bethel has been one of the most neglected communities in all Tobago. So there is need for social intervention. There are a lot of young people that take illicit substances. They consume a lot of alcohol and so on.
"And there is a lot of joblessness as well, so we have to find a way to provide some jobs for those who would want to work.
"And I also think that there is need for counselling for those who may have had traumatic experiences that contribute to the kind of life that they’re living.”
He said upgrading the Montgomery recreational grounds will provide employment and an avenue for young people to take part in positive activity.
On the election deadlock, Baynes said, “We are in a political conundrum, but at the same time, I think that it may be at a significant juncture in our history for the change in the revisiting of the rules, seeing that we find the THA Act to be very deficient to treat with this matter. So this may well be an opportunity to correct some of the ills in the THA Act post-haste."
Baynes is not worried and said his work has begun.
“We would provide, with God’s help, the best kind of representation to the district and by extension to the people of Tobago. I am one of those who believe that there is divine input in where we are and that there would be a rectifying of the present issues to the benefit of the people of Tobago. So there need not be any panic or any fear. These matters would be resolved.”