JLP gets two-week extension to pay off rent for National Arena
Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer
The Jamaica Labour Party has been granted a two-week extension to complete payments for the rental of the National Arena to host its annual conference last weekend.
Major Desmon Brown, the General Manager of Independence Park Limited, operators of the National Arena, told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre that usually, entities renting the facility are expected to pay the rent two days before the event.
However, he says the JLP paid 50 per cent of the cost on Friday, two days before Sunday’s 71st annual gathering of labourites.
Brown says the party requested a two-week extension and has until Monday, December 1 to pay the outstanding balance.
“It’s not unheard of. As a business we try not to do it but situations differ,” he said.
Major Brown declined to reveal the actual rental cost, claiming that it is not the policy of the entity to disclose such information.
Meanwhile, the General Manager says clients who fail to paying the rent within the agreed times could be hauled to court.
“We hope we don’t have to take them to court. And I don’t expect that at all. We have had situations, not including the JLP, where we have had to follow them up and they eventually pay. One or few we have had to take to court. But I’m sure it won’t get to that this time.”
Meanwhile, the JLP’s General Secretary, Dr Horace Chang, says the payments will be made within the period of the extension.
“This is normal procedure in that we may make a certain payment upfront and the rest we pay after. It’s traditionally what’s happened. That’s how we have operated for many years. I’m not sure why it is newsworthy this year.”
Going into the conference, news emerged that the party did not have sufficient money to transport delegates from its various area councils to the conference, but the party has since rejected the claim.
The party had also scaled down its annual conference, moving from the usual two days to one.
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