MINISTER OF COMMERCE AND TRADE, CANDIDATE FOR ST. PETER
Haynesley Benn was born and raised in Rose Hill and Benn Hill, St. Peter and has retained very close linkages with many individuals and organizations within the community. His mission is the holistic development of St. Peter, and Barbados – spiritually, socially and economically.
Having attained a solid educational foundation at the All Saints Boys School and the Coleridge and Parry School, he pursued higher education at the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College and BIMAP. He then achieved a Masters Degree in Business Administration at the University of the West Indies (U.W.I).
In keeping with his early Christian upbringing, Haynesley remains a Member of the Bethany Baptist Church where he serves as a Deacon. He also functions as a member of the Men’s Fellowship and sings in the Church Choir. Indeed, service is his calling. He served as a Primary School teacher at his alma mater after completing his secondary education, before venturing out onto the national stage.
Having won the 2008 General Elections, the immediate task of the newly constituted DLP Administration was to target agriculture as an effective means of reducing the cost of living. Senator Haynesley Benn was immediately chosen to spearhead the long-term, back-to-the-land movement. Nationally respected as a voice in agriculture for over four decades, he set about championing the cause of farmers in the various subsectors of agriculture. He drew heavily on his knowledge and contacts built up over twenty-two years of service in various capacities with the largest farmers’ organization of Barbados, the Barbados Agricultural Society (B.A.S).
In the first year, increases in the production of Vegetables, Root Crops and Livestock were realized nationally amongst the farming community, despite increases in the prices of inputs such as fertilizer and feed. Senator Haynesley Benn won the confidence of farmers in not only maintaining normal volumes but also increasing the levels of production. In the first year, the rates of increase ranged from 1% (poultry) to 298.4% (lettuce).
He also began attracting young people to agriculture through the 4H Clubs. On the assumption of office in January, 2008, they were eleven (11) 4H clubs in existence. However by January, 2009 at a Grand Opening Ceremony the number of clubs had increased to 40.
He also brought to the table his training in the area of Cooperatives and Credit Union development; and his experience as Marketing Manager within the Barbados Shipping and Trading Company. This knowledge of wholesale and retail business has ably equipped him with the tools to serve as Minister of Commerce and Trade; but more importantly has earned him the respect and support of the business community in Barbados.
During the past 5 years, the Ministry of Commerce and Trade has developed a Draft Policy Framework for addressing the rising cost of living. The Policy Framework sets out five (5) broad national objectives, namely:
- Contain and reduce the price of food, wherever possible;
- Make housing and land more affordable to the average Barbadian;
- Reduce the cost of production;
- Implement institutional and regulatory reform; and
- Build and strengthen partnerships.
Despite external shocks, the DLP Administration has pursued these objectives and has succeeded in stabilizing the economy. With each Ministry doing its part, it has cushioned the impact of changes in the global economy.
Above all, the Government has been honest and transparent in its efforts to limit increases in the cost of living. To this end, the Ministry of Commerce and Trade has commissioned the Barbados Advocate and the Daily Nation to publish on a monthly basis the prices of everything in the “Basket of Basic Consumer Items”. It is on this evidence that the Government should be judged.
Despite the demands from his Ministerial portfolios, Senator Benn has never lost sight of his obligations to his constituents. From his close connection with the people of St. Peter, he has drawn up a list of needs, with accessibility to land and housing, water supplies, health care and amenities for the elderly, sporting facilities for the youth, and better roads, as the top priorities. He has endeavoured to meet these needs through the following projects, programmes and initiatives during the past 5 years:
- The construction of two (2) new housing developments in St. Peter, namely Four Hill (19 houses) and French Village (44 houses).
- Road repairs from Mount Brevitor through to French Village and onto the Four Hill development; as well as the widening of the Station Hill Road and Rockless Corner.
- Upgrade of the facilities for the fisherfolk in Six Mens, St. Peter, from dilapidated and insanitary conditions to retrofitted stalls in an effort to satisfy international health and safety requirements.
- Sponsorship of Cosmos Football Competition for four (4) consecutive years.
- Hosted and sponsored a Kite & Bonnet competition in the Summer of 2008.
- Sponsored Tennis competitions for four (4) consecutive years.
- Hosted developmental courses for persons entering the field of work at All Saints Primary School and Black Bess Vocational Training centre.
- Served as Patron of the Speightstown, St. Peter Independence Festival.
- Hosted a fun Day for the Black Bess Community in 2012.
- Assisted a number of youth and church groups.
- Worked closely with successive Parish Ambassadors and Parish Ambassador Committees.
- Continued participate in, and train choirs across the parish.
This son of the soil is committed now more than ever before to providing St. Peter with quality representation and addressing these manifestations of persistent poverty. He needs your support to accomplish this mission.
Contact the Candidate
Constituency Office (246) 422-6519