RURAL EXPRESS - Linstead gets town centre
LINSTEAD, St Catherine:
CITIZENS IN nine communities in St Catherine will now be able to access limited parish council functions without having to journey to Spanish Town.
The St Catherine Parish Council, in its quest to make good on one of the recommendations of the National Advisory Council on Local Government Reform, officially opened the Linstead Town Centre on Thursday
Local Government Minister Noel Arscott, speaking at the function, said the opening was a significant milestone for local government, pointing out that it gives credence to the vision of facilitating the development of communities for the benefit of all citizens.
"The core principle of local government reform is that of enabling the Jamaican citizen to have a stronger voice in managing local affairs," the minister said.
Arscott disclosed that a critical enabling arm of the town centre concept is the advisory committee. He said this comprises representatives of the major private and public-sector stakeholders in the town and includes councillors from the electoral divisions that fall within the designated area.
The local government minister lauded the work of the Linstead Advisory Committee for its collaboration with the St Catherine Parish Council as its supervisory body to bring the town centre to its present stage of development.
Mayor of Spanish Town Norman Scott said Linstead was selected because of its urgent need, its unique historical value and its central location to the nine divisions. The divisions are Lluidas Vale, Ewarton, Glengoffe, Above Rocks, Linstead, Treadways, Troja, Mount Industry and Bog Walk.
Newly appointed parish manager Chantae Brown said she stands ready to meet the needs of the people. She said provisions were being made to ensure that payments for certain services could be done at the office. In the meantime, payments can be made at specified banks and vouchers submitted at the town centre.
- Ruddy Mathison