Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Candidates give their visions for Portmore
Observer Reporter
Wednesday, September 18, 2002




FITZ Jackson, the Member of Parliament for South St Catherine, said construction had begun on a 50,000 square feet informatics park at Naggo Head in that constituency as part of government's efforts to create jobs through development of the information and communications technology sector.

It will be the second such facility built in Portmore, which has a population of approximately 160,000.


Jackson, the junior minister for education, youth and culture, also announced plans to expand the Portmore Community College, adding that government had provided an "adequate supply" of basic, primary and secondary school spaces in Portmore.

He was speaking on the weekend at a political forum organised by the Greater Portmore Joint Citizens Association at the St Catherine South divisional police headquarters in Greater Portmore. Candidates of four political parties were in attendance and promised residents an array of amenities, if elected MP in the upcoming elections.

Denzil Taylor, candidate for the New Jamaica Alliance, noted that another industrial project for the Naggo Head area was placed on hold by a private sector investor pending the general elections. Taylor, echoing the alliance's political platform, argued that a fixed election date would provide more conducive conditions for investors.

In addition, the NJA representative indicated that, if elected, he would seek to build a permanent constituency office where the MP would be a "tenant during his tenure". Funds to maintain a constituency office would likely come from the allocation of five per cent of the national budget to each constituency -- a key platform position of the National Democratic Movement, which is a part of the NJA.

At the same time, Errol Williamson, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate, proposed the construction of a hospital for the Portmore area as well as a push for municipality status.

Emphasising that he was not a "party creature", Williamson, a medical doctor, said that he would refuse any offer to serve in a JLP government, choosing instead to concentrate on building the constituency. "There is a problem with effective representation," he noted.

In his remarks, Alton Duhaney, candidate for the United People's Party (UPP), promised residents of Southern St Catherine a "team approach" to running the constituency and transparency in expenditure and the awarding of contracts, if elected MP.