The United Democratic Party (UDP) standard bearer for the Port Loyola Division, Philip Willoughby is not waiting for Area Representative Anthony “Boots” Martinez to retire from politics to begin to responsible for the constituency. Willoughby has been holding consultations with the people of the area and he says the people have made it clear that sorting out land ownership issues is one of the main concern that they have and he intends to assist them and go through the processes associated with the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Phillip Willoughby UDP Standard Bearer: “One of the immediate challenges that the constituency is having is that of land issues, land matters and land concerns so how we have done it, I have discussed with the Commissioner of Lands and the Minister and we have begun the process of collaborating together. I check the constituencies name, address and situation. We then set a date and time and we go over to the Ministry of Natural Resources Belize City office to verify that information so that it is not just that you are bringing information that is miscued or it is illegal or something wrong with it so that has to check out in that fashion and then it goes up to Belmopan for advice and processing. We don’t want the replication of what is happening in the Lake Independence area to happen again or replicate itself in the Port Loyola constituency. We don’t want what happened in the Belama Phase 4, 5 and beyond to replicate itself and happen in the Port Loyola Constituency so let’s get it right. If we can’t get it right let’s work to regularize the situation and get it done properly. You can’t expect that you are going to squat somewhere illegally and want the Government to regularize it, that won’t happen and we are not here to do that, we are simply saying that residents who lived on that land and built on that land that if they don’t have their papers in order we are here to work with those residents and for those families to get it in order.”
This is the second consultation that Willoughby says they have conducted.. The other key area that residents have been asking him to address is crime and poorly lit areas in neighborhoods. Willoughby also addressed the work of the grassroots initiative One Struggle. Willoughby had utilized then Deputy Compol Chester Williams as part of the One Struggle outreach and he explained how the group moves forward now that Williams is busy with additional duties as Commissioner.
Phillip Willoughby UDP Standard Bearer: “Secondly is the matter of crime and that is attached to what we considered some dark spots within the constituency likewise. This is for the people in the Fabers Rd. extension area extending up to the mile 6 bridge and we want to get the community involved. We want the community to get engaged, voice your concerns and bring your suggestions. How is that we can serve you better as community and of course the one that doesn’t work I have to continue doing that but collectively let’s come together as community and discuss pertinent issues that affects all of us.
Reporter: “How does your work with those mothers change now that the Deputy Commissioner of Belize is elevated now to Commissioner?
Phillip Willoughby UDP Standard Bearer: “Well I am happy for Mr. Williams, I am extremely grateful for him in his ascension in his rank and matriculating up in the system. I know that he will be much more busy and if I try to reach out to him I can’t say I will be able to get him but if that is not the case then if he assigns someone to myself I will be grateful for that and I have been working closely with Mr. Mariano and Mr. Carcomo. This evening we did a walkthrough in the Jane Usher area with the Police Department like I mentioned. Again going back to the consultation, revisiting the concerns of the constitution, those dark spots within the constituency. We will be walking and traversing the constituency to see and locate the spots and try to address them as well as having the consultation and the continued dialogue with the young men in the constituency also. That softer social approach that I have always been speaking of and always speaking about you will continue seeing it happen in the constituency and if Mr. Williams can afford one struggle in his time as the Commissioner of Police running the Police operation and Command for the entire country and if he can accomodate me I will be extremely grateful for that and if he cannot I can understand because he has the whole country to look at but whoever he reassigns to work with us we will do our best in supporting the Police Department and working with the mothers.
The next consultation is set for Sunday, January 27th at the YMCA on Fabers Road Extension.