Video: Sen. Ming On Community Centre Services

October 23, 2015

“News that the three community centers will likely see job losses and important social outlets for our youth closed is beyond concerning,” Senator Renee Ming said.

“The St George’s Community Centre, known as the Youth Centre to my fellow St Georgians has been a staple community vessel for many many years.

“Many of us have happy memories of the “Youth Centre” from our childhood and today it remains a safe haven for the children of our community. Patrons of the St. George’s Community Centre range from the very young at heart to our perky seniors.

St George's Community Centre Bermuda, October 22 2015-1

“Some of the activities enjoyed on site are: After School Program, Basketball, Music Program, Computer/Internet, Father & Son Fridays, Mini Golf, Senior Day Program [a growing group], Midterm Program, Summer Camp Programs, Cyber Kids Computer Club
Indoor Soccer, Girls Club, Boys Club, Karate, Joy Club, Games Room and Dancerettes Dance Group.”

“Whenever I hear sounds of activity coming from the Community Centre I, like many St. Georgians am comforted knowing that the capable, trustworthy staff are there ensuring that the facility is maintained and safe for all to use,” Senator Ming continued.

“The OBA announced a possible hotel for St George’s. Yet today, we hear that the local Community Centre will see reduced services resulting in several Bermudians losing their jobs.

“What will become of the workers who will join the over 2000 job losses in Bermuda since 2013?” Senator Ming asked. ”What will become of the children who will be displaced and lose a safe, stable environment to gather, interact, play and learn?

“What will become of the seniors and various community groups that use the facilities and services? What value does the OBA place on the Bermudians who will be impacted?

“The people of St George’s and Bermuda deserve better,” said Senator Ming. “I implore the OBA to think about the community and rethink this decision.”

In response, a Ministry spokesperson said: “The Ministry has made no decision on closing any community centres. The community centres are under review to ascertain the most efficient and effective mode of operation in light of the current hiring freeze that Government is under.

“The Ministry is assessing all of the human resources at the community centres to ensure that they all remain operational in a safe and effective manner. The Ministry is fully cognizant of the many services that are provided to different segments the society who come to use the facility.”

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Comments (27)

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  1. Isn’t Senator Renee Ming putting the cart before the horse?
    In response, a Ministry spokesperson said: “The Ministry has made no decision on closing any Community Centres. The Community Centres are under review to ascertain the most efficient and effective mode of operation in light of the current hiring freeze that Government is under.”

    • Yes says:

      Think of the CHILDREN, Ray!

      • Who says I’m not? The O.B.A. hasn’t stated they’re going to shut anything down…(Re-read the article)

        • By the way…
          Thomas Christopher Famouss wrote:
          During the election the O.B.A had a slogan,”No one left behind” How’s that working out again?
          Tax concessions for the wealthy whilst job cuts for the working class”
          (Reply below)
          DonQuixte: Thomas Christopher Famouss
          During the P.L.P dark ages the slogan was we had to deceive you, and welcome to the Golden age of Tourism, and We don’t care what you think, and I’m just the Cog in the wheel…We all know how that all worked out, lol

      • aceboy says:

        This is about jobs, not the children. The children are just the pawns in the political scheme of things.

        “The OBA announced a possible hotel for St George’s. Yet today, we hear that the local Community Centre will see reduced services resulting in several Bermudians losing their jobs.

        What will become of the workers who will join the over 2000 job losses in Bermuda since 2013?” Senator Ming asked. What will become of the children who will be displaced and lose a safe, stable environment to gather, interact, play and learn?”

        Note, the children come last in the list of questions she poses.

  2. bluebird says:

    Senitor rene ming,
    What about the 11,300 work permits that are issued to expats because we cannot find Bermudians to fill those jobs,including the 2,000 from 2013 as you exspressed.
    And senator how about the HUGE DEBT that the previous administration has so kindle left to the children and grandchildren of Bermuda what are your suggestions to that problem because this generation will not be able to pay it off.
    Senator ming we are still borrowing $220Million each year to live off other peoples money which we will eventually have to pay back.
    Senator ming how about the LOCAL COMMUNITY taking care of the requirements and needs (where are all the people to do things for themselves)instead of waiting for Government to pay someone to do it for you.
    Senator ming we don’t have the money unless we fire or get rid of 4,000 Government employees to balance the BUDGET.You do know what a balanced budget is don’t you ???????

  3. Terry says:

    Their back……………………………

  4. ..... says:

    Senator Ming, this would be a perfect opportunity to do something positive instead of just playing politics.

    Nowhere did I read that you have an initiative to help fund these community centers in order to help relieve the financial strain on the Government.

    If you truly care why don’t you use your influence to organize fund raisers or try to solicit Corporate Sponsorships? Hell maybe one, or a couple, of the exempt companies on this island might be interested in putting their name on these community centers.

    • Zevon says:

      Raising money to pay for things and making something pay for itself are not Senator Ming’s strong points.
      Her strong point is spending other people’s money. Borrowed money, that she thinks will never have to be paid back. That’s what she’s good at.

  5. hmmm says:

    After listening to the ministry response, Ming went to the press on a rumour.

    Why didn’t she just ask the ministry in the first place.

    • st.geo resident says:

      I know for a fact it will be layoffs this is no rumor they were told already. Government is hiding by the fact she PLP. Im a OBA memeber and i can tell you im disappointed with this decision. You can all sit by your computers and not worry about the families affected thats cool. God dont like ugly.

  6. st.geo resident says:

    How could they do that you the workers. The children love them, My children love going to the youth Center everyday afterschool and even weekends. They put on amazing camps, plays, art work, They have the girls club that shows young girls how to do various things from cooking or manners. If they are to let people go it should start at the top with the director(not sure what he actually does).But the workers are amazing. Come on OBA do the right thing and save these peoples jobs the community needs more people working with the youth not the opposite.

    • bluwater says:

      Well, if the service are so valuble, maybe you would consider paying for the programs your children attend?

      As for the Director, just a guess but he probably runs the place you think is so amazing.

    • kenny says:

      st.geo resident
      how much does it cost you to get YOUR children watched over after every school day or on the weekends when mommy has to go do HER thing?
      in the real world its call babysitting and parents have to PAY for this service.

  7. Lalalala says:

    Maybe senator Ming would like to fund the staff? Or maybe families who use the facility should pay for the services? Or maybe the plp shouldn’t have wasted so much money?

  8. Rico says:

    Come on Senator, spreading rumors in so high schoolish. Lets wait until the facts come out. There’s always an agenda i tel you.. smh!

  9. st.geo resident says:

    Ah maybe she knows because the workers told her thier being let go. And the families do pay fees.Maybe you rich computer bloggers can give something back to the community since you think its no big issue.

    • Onion Juicer says:

      Theres NO money left. What part of that do you not understand? Where do you suggest they cut costs? Healthcare? Pensions for the elderly? We’re $2billion in debr now….how do you think this is going to play out? It doesn’t matter who’s in power, this all ends the same.

    • bluwater says:

      Ask those civil service employees who refused to share the sacrifice with some furlough days to chip in.

    • kenny says:

      how much do they pay?

  10. watching says:

    Clearly people close to the issue have spoken with Senator Ming. Anyone who knows her knows she would not speak recklessly about something so serious. Let’s not be ignorant here.
    How many times have people spoken about certain issues, the OBA have denied them, and then we find out it is true?

  11. Thank you Sen Ming!! says:

    For calling attention to this important issue facing East end families.

    May I make a small suggestion please–instead of spinning it for politics and PLP gain–given that you must care deeply for the St George’s community–how about trasferring that energy into positive action to help the community centre–after all I think that is who you represent–not just the ideals of a political platofrm…

    That would get a better outcome and alot more support from your fellow Bermudians than flipping the political pancake.

    This is an opoprtunity to show that there can be creative collborative ideas and actions to solve a community issue–y’all up for the challenge

    I know you are!

  12. Starting Point says:

    Both the PLP and OBA have failed on this one. Years ago when the Sandys 360 was built it should have been immediate that the sandys communty centre and Boaz island shut down, the capable staff transferred to continue their work at 360, the government could have then provided an operating grant to 360 for about 250,000 dollars. This would have saved 250K plus as the budget of the government facilities was well over 550,000 each year.

    Today we would still have a proper centre in the West end and the public private partnership would have worked, ask the 360 folks about this, it was mentioned several times during the initial years of that building but the PLP ignored it and now with 360 no more, the OBA is stuck to wind down the facilities which are falling apart.. We wont get into how for years WEDCO has done nothing for the Boaz island location which they charge government prob 20 times in rent compared to revenues the facility brings in..

    The Centre in Hamilton is unfortunately inadequate physically and has always struggled to maintain solid numbers outside of summer camp and ASP both of which are subsidized by over 100% and could be absorbed into the regular Youth and Sport programs in central with ease.

    As for St. Georges, it has always maintained the highest user numbers due to its isolated location in the East, generally full programs and a very respected local staff.

    Quite frankly the process should be – give Sandys 360 a 300K operating grant to try and get running again, close the Hamilton centre as central Bermuda has far more services available for youth and keep the st. georges facility open with increase support from monies left over by the west and central closures.

    Hard facts that require actual decision making and strength which don’t exist in the civil service.

  13. Smh says:

    Bet you’re glad you supported the unuins not taking those furlough days now, huh? That decision means millions now how to be cut from the community instead.

  14. 32n64w says:

    The $4 million spent by the PLP on a Beyoncé vanity weekend for the party elite sure could have come in handy now. Shame Ms. Ming’s admirable and well placed concern is a direct result of the PLP’s ineptocracy.

  15. Pay Attention Bda says:

    Instead of worrying about the politics of all this. Sit back and really take a look at this situation.  If there are job losses at the St.George’s Community Centre, there will be not enough people to run the community centre so what happens after that? The centre will have to close due to not enough staff. Sen.Ming is just keep it real and looking at the bigger picture of the situation.  Pay attention!!!..who cares about plp this or oba that. The children and the seniors are the number one issue in all of this. These staff shouldn’t even be contract workers in the first place!! Any position that deals with seniors or children should a established position!!! I swear only in Bermuda do we think our children come first when really they come last!