Albion residents' cries fall on deaf ears
Despite sustained efforts to have the relevant authorities intervene to address what they see as an "injustice" in the sale of a four-acre property originally designated as a play area and green space in Albion Estates, the residents say their cries have seemingly fallen on deaf ears.
Duklon Stennett, president of the Albion Citizens' Association, told The Gleaner that he has made several attempts to discuss the issue with the
St Thomas Municipal Corporation but has failed to get their attention.
"We have sent countless correspondence to them and they have stalled in having a formal meeting with us over the last three years. I have called and sent emails, but [there has been] no formal response," he added.
He said at least two letters were written to the corporation in 2017, but to date, no formal response has been forthcoming.
Letter to minister
Stennett wrote to the minister of local government on October 20, 2017, seeking his intervention: "The residents of Albion Estates, through the Albion Citizens' Association, have for the past 20 years, at a minimum, made numerous efforts to remedy what we consider a grave injustice, without success. This injustice is the sale of the parcel of land designated for the community's green area and playfield (sic).
"We are requesting your urgent input, as the playfield is once again up for sale," the letter stated.
Additionally, Stennett said the residents discussed the matter with Prime Minister Andrew Holness at a town hall meeting in St Thomas in 2017, at which time he asked
Dr Horace Chang and Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie to hold talks with the residents. Subsequently, Stennett said he delivered a letter to the Office of the Prime Minister reiterating the community's concerns.
The letter stated, among other things: "The association and residents in general are extremely upset, as we feel the system is failing us. We ask that your good office will investigate and intervene in this matter and restore our faith in the system so we can enjoy the green spaces we are entitled to by law."
Further, it said: "We believe that only (you) can help, as a government, and prime minister, in particular, who believes in access to green spaces and the physical health and well-being of Jamaicans."