Thu | Mar 22, 2018

Tensions high at first St Thomas meeting after PNP walkout

Published:Monday | January 16, 2017 | 12:00 AM

There was tension at the St Thomas Municipal Corporation last Thursday following the swearing-in of the five People's National Party (PNP) councillors who had boycotted the ceremony in December.

The councillors raised concerns when mayor of Morant Bay and chairman of the corporation, Lenworth Rawle, announced the composition of the Human Resource Committee, a body they say makes the most important decisions concerning the municipality.

Rawle revealed that the committee is to be made up of six members, five of whom are to be councillors of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

PNP councillors objected, stating that the previous administration saw all 10 members of the municipality sitting on the Human Resource Committee.

Following the objection, a motion was moved and seconded by JLP councillors to continue with the committee of six members.

Two PNP councillors left the meeting after the approval of the motion.

Both councillors told The Gleaner that their departure had nothing to do with the disagreement and refused to comment further on the matter.




Rawle expressed displeasure with the councillors' actions, stating that measures would be taken to prevent a recurrence of such behaviour.

"At our council meeting here in St Thomas, anybody choosing to leave as a director has to ask permission to leave the meeting. Anyone who disobeys will have to apologise to the corporation before attending another meeting. We agree to disagree in meetings and today (Thursday) we were at a disagreement and they walked out. We need to remember that St Thomas comes first," he said.

In his address, Rawle said he is looking forward to working with all councillors for the benefit of the people of the parish.