Doctor on duty! - Brennan checks in Pearnel’s North Central Clarendon constituency
Medical doctor Desmond Brennan is sure he has the prescription to fix all that ails the people of North Central Clarendon, but he will have to get by a political veteran if he is to get the job.
Brennan is the People's National Party's (PNP) candidate for the constituency held by Pearnel Charles, who has made it a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) stronghold since 2002.
But Brennan says, from all indications, he has more than enough reasons to be confident of a win when the votes are counted on February 25.
The medical doctor has been actively involved in politics over the last eight years and has served as the chairman of the PNP's constituency organisation.
According to Brennan, on two occasions he was to contest the seat but declined due to family obligations.
"Since last year, the people of North Central Clarendon have been asking for me to be their representative and so I consented in October last year, having turned them down twice before.
"Since then, I have been walking the streets, the hills and the valleys to meet the people of North Central Clarendon, making them aware that what they are getting is much less than what they should get; what they have been satisfied with for 15 years is a far cry from what they should really enjoy," said Brennan
"I intend to be a member of parliament for the JLP and for the PNP. I intend to be a member of parliament for the old and for the young," added Brennan, as he listed some of the items in his manifesto.
"We need to pay attention to health, education, roads and water. Our hospital is in a dilapidated condition. The road leading to the hospital will induce labour to any term pregnancy travelling on it, and yet we have conditions at the hospital that are not suitable to give optimum medical care to the people of North Central Clarendon," said the Russia-trained, class-two district medical officer.
He bemoaned the lack of a reliable water supply in the constituency and said he intends to make this a major priority.
"There are too many springs and rivers in North Central Clarendon for teachers, lawyers and doctors to be bathing in a pan. We need to connect the three springs in Beckford Kraal to a central system where we can process and treat them, and then put them into the general water supply to improve the state of water in the constituency.
"The people are crying out for roads. We need to move away from the triviality of partisan politics and cater for the people of North Central Clarendon. I also intend to introduce skills training and integration and development of the youths through sports."
He reasoned that the opportunities for young people to excel in education have been taken out of their grasp as, over the last 15 years, not one scholarship has been provided to any tertiary student.
"The back-to-school token show that goes on every year needs to be more than a token, it needs to be less political and more geared towards truly helping the needy children," said Brennan.
"Housing is awful in North Central Clarendon. Since the days of Donald Sangster, there has not been any new housing solution in North Central Clarendon. We have idle lands that are not fit for agriculture; yet we have a booming population that has far outgrown our facilities here, and yet we give no housing solutions to them."
The 49-year-old father of six has been busy on the campaign trail having travelled Mocho, Rock River, Chapelton and other communities, "and yet the people cannot get enough of me".
"They have been calling for me to visit and revisit, they have been calling for street meetings and church meetings and as much as humanly possible, I have been consenting to them."
"I intend not to be a politician but to be a representative for the people of North Central Clarendon that I will strive for with the help of the Almighty God."
BOX: North Central Clarendon 1980 - 2011
YEAR CANDIDATE NO. VOTES CAST
1980 Binger Rupert (PNP) 2,015
Broderick Percival (JLP) 9,904
Margin of Victory 7889
1983 PNP BOYCOTT
1989 N.C. Bachelor (PNP) 4,895
Errol A. Dunkley (JLP) 6,429
Margin of Victory 1,534
1993 George Lyn (PNP) 5,088
Bindley A. Sangster (JLP) 3,428
Margin of Victory 1,660
1997 George Lyn (PNP) 5,674
Pearnel Charles (JLP) 5,194
Margin of Victory 480
2002 George Lyn ( PNP) 4,519
Pearnel Charles (JLP) 5,823
Margin of Victory 1,304
2007 Ralph S. Thomas (P.N.P) 4,109
Pearnel P. Charles ( JLP) 5,978
Margin of Victory 1,869
2011 Pearnel P. Charles ( JLP) 6,661
Colin Campbell 4,825
Margin of Victory 1,836