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Gov'ts NHT decision threatens relationship with civil groups

Published:Tuesday | November 25, 2014 | 1:42 PM

There are indications that the Government's partnership with civil society groups is now under threat, following the Cabinet's decision to retain the controversial board of the National Housing Trust (NHT).

The Partnership for Transformation includes members of the opposition, private sector, academia, civil society and trade unions.

The Jamaica Civil Society Coalition (JCSC) represents a large chunk of the membership of the partnership.

One of its Board members, Carol Narcisse, says the time has come for non-government members of the partnership, to reconsider their membership.

Her views support those of another member, Horace Levy, who says he is outraged at the actions of the Cabinet to disregard the calls of civil society to axe the board.

In 2013, the Prime Minister signed the Partnership for Transformation agreement, committing to social dialogue around issues critical to the development of the nation.

The NHT board has been plunged into controversy, following the revelation that the entity spent $180 million to purchase the property housing the Outameni Experience attraction in Trelawny.

Brenda Cuthbert, Kavan Gayle and Helene Davis White, resigned last week, reducing the board below the nine required to form a quorum.

And yesterday, the Office of the Prime Minister announced four new board members, following a Cabinet meeting at Jamaica House.

Retired actuary, Daisy Coke, has been appointed deputy chairperson.

The other members are chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation, Sergeant Raymond Wilson; Past President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, Clayton Hall; and Vice-president of the Northern Caribbean University, Pastor Michael Harvey.

WATCH: SPECIAL REPORT ... A trip to the Outameni Experience

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