The Battle for NW St Andrew | Road repairs top demand for voters
Long-time residents of Queensborough, Hughenden and Glendale, middle-class communities in the St Andrew North West constituency, are almost uniform in their demand that whoever wins tomorrow's by-election should focus on improving their roads.
The residents go to the polls tomorrow to determine if the People's National Party's (PNP) Keisha Hayle or the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Dr Nigel Clarke will replace their long-serving member of parliament, Derrick Smith, and they are adamant that whoever is elected must ensure "more smooth roads behind the smooth talk".
"Around five years ago we asked Mr Smith to fix this piece a road here so (Kingsley Close), which is not very long, and we have been getting promises, promises, promises and nothing more," said Anthony McKenzie, who has lived in Glendale for the past 33 years.
He said Kingsley Close had deteriorated to the point that residents opted to pool funds, purchase concrete mix and administer temporary repairs themselves.
According to McKenzie, during a recent tour of the community, high-ranking members of the JLP vowed that the road would be repaired in short order.
He added that despite unfulfilled promises over the years, he will still exercise his right to vote tomorrow.
"We (residents) getting so much promise we don't know which one might fulfil, so we just have to remain hopeful," said McKenzie.
In the neighbouring community of Hughenden, Glen Hinds said the area was generally peaceful but is marred by unsightly roads.
"Roads are the major problem in the constituency because the majority of them really horrible, especially Stars Way. But I understand that them have a plan to fix it and others in the area, so I'm looking forward to it," said Hines, adding that he has never shied away from the polls.
The National Works Agency (NWA) has indicated that $91 million has been allocated for road repairs in the constituency, sparking allegations from the PNP that this is part of efforts by the governing party to influence the outcome of the by-election.
Roads identified by the NWA to be repaired include Duhaney Drive, Abberville Avenue, Pembroke Hall Drive, Stars Way, and Ken Hill Drive.
But for Queensborough resident 'John' that is not enough. "I live here more than 20 years now and I can't see any improvement. I have to call it as I see it, it no make sense beat around the bush, Queensborough Drive in a state, the road them need fixing," said John, as he pointed to other issues he wants the new MP to address.
"Every minute from the other day, you turn on the pipe and water gone and nobody don't say anything to we. We also need more jobs for the people them. I can't see a thing a gwan, that's why I stop vote because all politician a the same to me," added John.