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Prime minister vows to make her constituency a model for the rest of Jamaica

Published:Sunday | September 20, 2015 | 12:00 AMArthur Hall
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller greeting supporters in her South West St Andrew constituency.
The housing stock in need of improvment in Whitfield Town in the heart of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's South West St Andrew constituency
Caribbean Palms Estate is a sign of the improvement in the housing stock in Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's South West St Andrew constituency.

Forced to stave off frequent criticisms about the poor state of the infrastructure in the South West St Andrew constituency which she has represented for 33 years, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has vowed to do all she can to improve the area.

And she could not care any less about persons who might question the spending.

"I will have no shame, no excuse ... to ensure that South West St Andrew becomes a first-class constituency with all the needed amenities," declared Simpson Miller as she addressed People's National Party (PNP) supporters last week.

"When we finish, South West St Andrew must be a model constituency for all to see," added Simpson Miller.

According to PNP president, work has already been done to improve several roads in the constituency, while a number of drains have been cleared and a major upgrade has been done to the sewage system in Majesty Gardens.

She said work has also started to improve the housing stock in the constituency.

"They usually cuss and say we don't have any proper housing in here, but I am fixing it, and I'm not done yet," she said as she pointed to developments in the constituency, including the upscale Caribbean Palms housing development on Spanish Town Road, where she hosted her meeting Simpson Miller pointed to other changes which have been done to improve the quality of life of residents of her constituency.

This include a spend of $40 million by the Ministry of Health to upgrade the Hagley Park Health Centre, while $14 million was spent refurbishing a training centre which is now ready for reopening.

The member of parliament also praised private-sector leader Glen Christian and Karl 'Butch' Henderson who provided a multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art infant school in Union Gardens in the constituency.

"Once upon a time the criticism and the outcry was how South West St Andrew look; even some of our own (PNP) people outside of this constituency were critical," noted Simpson Miller as she boasted of the recent developments.

The South West St Andrew constituency stretches from the Three Miles area covering inner-city communities, including White Wing, Majesty Gardens, Payne Land and Union Gardens, Greenwich Farm, Whitfield Town and sections of Maxfield Avenue.

Simpson Miller first won the seat in 1976, trouncing the JLP's Joseph McPherson 13,584 to 4,376 votes. She has only lost the seat once, in the 1983 general election that the PNP boycotted.