Bahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development the Hon. Philip Davis told the House of Assembly, on July 25, 2012, that, within the first 30 days following the 2012 General Election, Community Policing was returned to ‘Urban Renewal’ in New Providence working out of established Urban Renewal Centres and, within 45 days, Community Policing was returned to ‘Urban Renewal’ in Grand Bahama.
“Within 60 days the Urban Renewal Commission was established and the Co-Chairs of the Commission announced and presented to the Nation,” Deputy Prime Minister Davis said, during his Communication in the House.
“Dr. Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt and Mr. Algernon Allen have graciously agreed to serve as Co-Chairpersons of the Urban Renewal Commission.
“They have begun their work, recently traveling to Freeport for the official launch of the Commission’s work in Grand Bahama when we were all happily joined by the creator of the first Urban Renewal effort a decade ago and its continuing biggest booster, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister (Perry G. Christie)."
Deputy Prime Minister Davis added that the Chairpersons of the Urban Renewal Commission bring their “outstanding and unique talents and history to this critical programme”.
“Urban Renewal is first and foremost about ‘caring’. Both of these eminent persons have exhibited a life of service,” he said.
Dr. Pratt’s life, Deputy Prime Minister Davis added, is legendary, first from her own struggles growing up, to how she approached each impediment not as a problem but rather as a challenge to accomplish something good, resulting in her own incredible achievements in sports, academics, politics, civil society and in her faith community.
He said she assisted “literally hundreds” of young people with no hope of an academic career, finding the possibility through the combination of her helping hand and their ambition and hard work, permitting them to secure university education – with many going on to achieving doctorates in many disciplines.
“Cynthia Pratt is truly a remarkable woman and a woman who always chose to look at what was possible rather than the negatives,” Deputy Prime Minister Davis said. “She brings this dedication, dynamism and sensitivity to the needs of her fellow citizens who live in the areas encompassed by the Urban Renewal Centres as her responsibility in this new venture.”
Deputy Prime Minister Davis added that Mr. Algernon Allen, too, comes from a similar challenged background.
“He is one who set out to achieve in his profession in the law and in the political life of our Bahamas,” Deputy Prime Minister Davis said. “He acknowledges that he remains a ‘political son’ to his mentor, Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, while he is a ‘philosophical brother’ to (Prime Minister) Perry Christie.
“Mr. Allen will be particularly remembered for his work in the ‘ONE BAHAMAS’ campaign and for his efforts to promote projects designed to provide for the needs of young people, those ‘precious jewels’ of The Bahamas.”
He added that the Permanent Secretaries of the "social" Ministries and other Ministries necessary to ensure the proper co-ordination of Government resources required to bring relief to citizens in need are members of the Commission, so that there is no lapse in communication.
“Urban Renewal is at the core of this Government’s Social Mission and every effort is being developed to ensure that there is never any doubt on the part of any agencies of the Government of this dedication,” he said.
The eight members of the Commission who are to be selected by “civil society” are expected to be named shortly, Deputy Prime Minister Davis added. The Co-Chairpersons of the Commission are now in the process of extending the formal invitations to nominate persons to serve, he said.
He added: “The intention here is very simple: Urban Renewal and its success benefits the entire society and so every effort has to be made to involve, structurally, civil society so that it remains at all times a project of, for and by The Bahamian people.”
July 26, 2012