'We need help'
POINT HILL, St Catherine:
Jamaica Labour Party representative for West Central St Catherine Dr Christopher Tufton has issued a call for Prime Minister Portia Simpson to intervene in a dispute involving the releasing of some $3 million earmarked to carry out Christmas work in the constituency.
Tufton told The Gleaner that Member of Parliament Dr Kenneth Baugh, who indicated that he would not seek re-election for the seat, had prepared the work programme before his hospitalisation, but was not able to sign off on the release of the funds.
According to Tufton, the constituency of West Central is facing an extraordinary situation in relation to the annual Christmas work because of Dr Baugh's hospitalisation.
"Dr Baugh is not well and we are all praying for his speedy recovery, the people of West Central are remembering him in their prayers," Tufton disclosed, before pointing to the impact of his hospitalisation on the Christmas work programme.
"A work programme was prepared to clean up the constituency, drain cleaning, bushing, to create an environment of cleanliness for the people, and also to create employment for a number of persons," he revealed.
According to Tufton, the work programme was done, but was not officially submitted and signed off by the office of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which falls under the Office of the Prime Minister.
Tufton said some 200 persons in all four divisions are affected by the non-release of the funds, and therefore run the risk of the only constituency this year that does not have a work programme.
"In addition to the issue of temporary employment for the people of West Central St Catherine this Christmas, the work was geared towards cleaning up the areas to prevent outbreaks of vector-borne diseases," Tufton declared.
"I, therefore, call on the prime minister who has the responsibility for the office of the CDF to intervene," said Tufton.