Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Papine development dream stillborn

Published:Saturday | October 24, 2015 | 10:00 AMFayval Williams

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I note with interest that for the recent constituency debate in Parliament, the member for Eastern St Andrew, Mr Andre Hylton, prepared and presented a brochure which listed his accomplishments across the constituency since 2012.

The document was labelled '101+ Achievements', with individual listing of more than 80 items accomplished by the MP over the period. But as could be concluded from a moment?s examination of the document, the MP resorted to listing every single minute thing that has occurred across the constituency over the period, including some in which he would have had very little or no input whatsoever.

Take, for example, the listing of more than 40 roads as having been repaired by the MP. One would get the impression that it's a smooth ride across the constituency these days, when that's definitely not so. Indeed, a little patching here and there in some cases, does not warrant such a fancy highlight, when daily there are complaints from many residents about the poor state of many roads across the constituency.

Traversing communities like Highlight View, Land Lease and River View remains a huge challenge for motorists, but Mr Hylton is busy basking in the 'glory' of his supposedly '101+ Achievements'.

In essence, if he donated a single book to a child in the constituency, it's dubbed an education grant, or better yet, with the addition of the odd days? lunch money, it becomes a 'scholarship'!

These are fine, but how does he measure up where it certainly matters most - the strategising and implementation a medium to long-term development plan for the constituency?

Why is it noticeable that only at the very end of his own narrative on the brochure is mentioned the most important and pivotal need of the constituency, the holistic development of the Papine and wider area as a university town? Where is the evidence of any work the MP has done over the last four years towards this very important development?

Roads, culverts, gullies and other physical facilities need repairing from time to time, and it is the job of every MP to seek to foster such developments.

One could be tempted to think that in focusing so exclusively on infrastructural projects, it was hoped that the spread of mostly unskilled work would broadly impact the masses here and there. That is reasonable logic, but a far cry from the salient need - what's in the best interest of the constituency at large.

Considering that Eastern St Andrew is home to the island's two largest and most recognised universities and a stone?s throw from the headquarters and main campus of the HEART Trust/National Training Agency; it has the third largest hospital nationally and perhaps the most highly specialised health facility, in the University Hospital of the West Indies; the country's most renowned botanic gardens and zoo at Hope Gardens; the United States Embassy; the Mona Dam and Hermitage Reservoir; home to the principal physical rehabilitation centre nationally, the Mona Rehabilitation Centre; why has it been so difficult for the MP to streamline anything worth reporting on the university township initiative?

There was absolutely nothing about sourcing affordable developmental funding so that interested residents across the constituency can improve their properties to offer much more housing solutions to students attending the universities, many of whom still have to be commuting long distances back home.

There is nothing about developing the area's commercial and social landscapes to attract people and business from outside, considering the magnetic pull of the vast number of young people who daily occupy the Papine space.

Papine is too well poised for development for the goal to be seemingly so elusive in the case of the MP. Indeed, were he to focus in-depth on the matter, he would realise that it really just takes conviction, drive and determination, which I am bringing to the table.

I think it is appropriate to label Mr Hylton's four years in office as 'four thoughtless years'.

FAYVAL WILLIAMS

Jamaica Labour Party Caretaker

Eastern St Andrew