New infirmary for Portland next year
Minister of Local Government and Community Development Noel Arscott says a new infirmary will be built in Portland next year, which will provide improved living conditions for the indigent, sick, and elderly residents of the parish.
He gave the commitment at the Youth Mayors' Luncheon recently, at the Ministry's Hagley Park Road offices in Kingston, in response to a call from the youth mayor of that parish, Zedon Martin, for the establishment of an improved facility.
"The question of an infirmary for Port Antonio; we all know (that) it is needed and I can give you the assurance that we will complete one coming next year," Minister Arscott said.
He noted that funds have been identified for the upgrading of infirmaries and shelters in the country.
Under the initiative, infirmaries in St Elizabeth, Manchester, Portland, St James and Clarendon are to benefit from repairs under a $250 million allocation from the National Housing Trust's (NHT) revenue surplus.
Also, more shelters will be provided for the homeless in Clarendon, Kingston and St Andrew, Westmoreland, Hanover, St Ann and Manchester.
Minister Arscott said the project is aimed at ensuring adequate care for the less fortunate members of the society.
Youth mayor's advocacy
The Minister commended the Portland Youth Mayor for his advocacy on behalf of the elderly and indigent members of his parish. "It is heartening to know that the younger generation is thinking about members of the older society," he stated.
He also hailed the Youth Mayor programme, noting that 260 young people have participated in the initiative to date.
He said the Ministry will be implementing a programme to monitor the development of the Youth Mayors and to assist them where possible.
The Youth Mayor programme is a part of activities for Local Government and Community Month, which was celebrated in November under the theme: 'Serving People... Empowering Communities'.
The youth mayor for each parish is required to complete a parish project of his/her choice, as well as participate in various civic functions during his/her tenure.