Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Amity Hall resident flays politicians for community neglect

Published:Friday | November 18, 2016 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell
Fred Ewers, with his own resources, decided to pave a section of this road in Amity Hall, St Thomas.
Ludlow Mathison, mayor of Morant Bay.
The Bowden Road in St Thomas makes life miserable for motorists and pedestrians alike.

Fred Ewers, an elderly resident of Amity Hall, St Thomas, was unfazed by the sweltering heat of the sun as he moves his hand in a circular motion with a 'float', skilfully creating a level surface on the fresh concrete he had earlier poured to fill out a huge pothole, just metres in front his yard which is perched on a hill.

The Gleaner's news team was in St Thomas, en route to Portland, battling a series of obstacle courses in the form of massive potholes along the way, when the small frame of a man bent in the middle of the road caused us to come to a halt.

Asked why he had taken upon himself the task of repairing the massive pothole, Ewers sighed before explaining that the community had been neglected over the years by both the member of parliament and the councillor.

"To be honest with you, after the general election, it's only two times I saw him. I saw him two days ago and I think it's because the parish council elections are near," Ewers said in reference to Ludlow Mathison, who is the councillor for the Bath division as well as mayor of Morant Bay. The member of parliament is Dr Fenton Ferguson.

"What happen with these politicians, you know, they don't come around until election time just because they want your vote, after that they don't care about you again," he said.

Ewers, a resident in Amity Hall for more than 23 years, described the community as a good place to live, noting that it was crime-free. "I don't even think a murder has ever been committed in this community," he beamed with pride.

He told The Gleaner that most of the residents in Amity Hall were involved in farming or worked at a sugar cane estate in the community.

However, he stressed that the deplorable state of the roads was posing a serious challenge not only to farmers, but to persons who passed through the area to reach their destinations. "When I was growing up, I know that vehicle usually pick where to drive. Now, if you are walking, you have to pick where to walk," Ewers quipped.

In an earlier interview, Mathison told The Gleaner that councillors in St Thomas come under tremendous pressure from residents about the state of parochial roads in the parish. "In terms of the Bath division, the breeze don't have to blow hard and the rain dew, and you have a lot of land slippage, so you have to constantly service the roads every month," he pointed out.

"Councillors get a lot of pressure out there, you know, because even since I am back (from abroad) the pressure I am getting from the people in the Bath division, mi a tell you. Probably if is somebody else dem mad; it nuh easy on we as councillors," Mathison stressed.

The mayor, who had been out of the island for a short while owing to illness, will be contesting the November 28 local government elections in the Bath division.