Sun | Dec 16, 2018

Letter of the Day | Family-friendly spaces build social harmony

Published:Tuesday | August 28, 2018 | 12:08 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Successive administrations have not prioritised family-friendly spaces as a lynch pin in the fight against crime and promoting healthy communal and familial relationships.

Governments spend a lot of time talking about building more houses, roads, schools, hotels - and rightly so. However, we neglect children and families spending quality time at our peril.

The economics is important, but the social fabric is the glue that provides the sustenance for discipline, shared beliefs, caring for the elderly, protecting our children to name a few benefits.

The larger issue is to build community cohesion by spending quality time together. However, if we continue to plan narrowly, we run the risk of life imitating art. Without adequate time and space to interact with and appreciate nature, people become hard and uncaring.

To this end, I'm asking the current and any future Government to ensure that planning permissions for large-scale developments include spaces for parks, infrastructure and sporting facilities as appropriate.

I can only imagine that sometimes persons would like to go for a walk for a myriad of reasons, but there's nowhere to unwind, 'chillax' or just enjoy the shade and cool breeze. The absence of this basic freedom leaves too many feeling like prisoners in their communities.

Currently, where play areas for children don't exist, every effort should be made to identify spaces and get communities working with their representatives and businesses to put something in place. It will be well worth it.

 

LACK OF BEACH ACCESS

 

There is a simmering debate about Jamaicans' lack of access to their beaches, and this could have serious repercussions not only for locals, but for the tourism product, which we can all ill-afford to disrupt.

Our history and our ambition as a nation state demand that we do not repeat the sins that our forebears fought so valiantly against. As much we must invite others to our lovely island, we cannot sacrifice the well-being of our people.

In keeping with the 2030 Millennial Development Goals and our own vision to become a First-World nation where our people can live, work, raise families and do business successfully, our leaders must strive to achieve balance and equity in pursuit of this promised land.

GARNETT WAITE

garnett.waite@gmail.com