Sat | Aug 18, 2018

Bedward Gardens zinc fence project to be replicated

Published:Tuesday | May 5, 2015 | 12:00 AM

A MAIN sponsor in the zinc-fence replacement programme, which the Government intends to take islandwide has lauded the initiative as a positive one that should be supported.

Anthony Haynes, a consultant with the Caribbean Cement Company, which is to give a 50 per cent discount on all cement required, said the zinc-fence replacement initiative is "an excellent project". He noted that one had been successfully implemented in East Rural St Andrew by Member of Parliament Damion Crawford.

"It is a project which you have to recognise that Damion Crawford has taken with the same model into Bedward Gardens and has really done a fantastic job, and Minister Peter Bunting toured and said, 'Why can't we take this project further?'. We are very happy to be a partner," Haynes, a former general manager, said.

In making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate last week, Bunting, the national security minister, said the zinc-fence replacement programme has not only benefited community safety, but has also engendered a feeling of pride and ownership.

"If the physical environment is planned, designed, and managed appropriately, certain types of crimes can be reduced and perceptions of safety increased," the minister said.

Bunting further said such programmes helped in minimising the number of exits and entry points to a community.

"A recent tour of a zinc-fence replacement project in Bedward Gardens, where the MP had negotiated discounts with private-sector companies, gave us the idea to facilitate a similar deal for all constituencies," Bunting said.

In addition to Carib Cement committing to sell cement at half price for similar projects, Tankweld has committed to giving a 50 per cent discount on the steel required.

Bunting also said community members would provide the labour, as was the case in Bedward Gardens, and the HEART/Trust NTA would train and certify members of the working team who are not already certified.

He said, too, that the Jamaica Social Investment Fund would provide technical assistance in the form of design and bills of quantities while MPs, councillors or other community leaders would coordinate and identify the persons to work on the project.

Haynes stressed that "it is really a very good project and we are very happy to take the minister's challenge on and work in other communities."

Bunting said that already, there was interest for projects in Canterbury, St James, and Windsor Heights in St Catherine.