St. John’s Antigua- Unacceptable and insensitive was how Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer characterized a recent decision by the management of Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) which plunged sporting fields across the county into darkness without notice.
The suppression of electricity at the weekend caught even Minister of Sports Winston Williams unaware. It also left sporting organizations and community groups in a lurch with their scheduled programmes.
Spencer’s reaction was coaxed from a community leader in City East, who speaking at Tuesday night’s town hall meeting, said that it was inconsistent for the government ministers to talk about curtailing feral youth while destabilizing the very places they ought to frequent.
The man reported that in his community alone scores of young people were disenfranchised when they were unable, because of the disconnections, to play basketball and football.
The prime minister nodded intermittently as the man spoke, saying, at the end, he understood the frustration being expressed.
“The way the lights were turned off was unacceptable. There have been some issues with respect to the sports complexes and the lights. The matter is being looked into, but it was totally insensitive … without notice and in the middle of games being played,” Spencer said.
Officials from the Ministry of Sports and management from APUA met, Tuesday, to establish a framework for the use of the complexes, a press release from the Ministry said.
The framework will establish oversight for reconnections – which has begun – and the times the lights should be turned off nightly.