Sat | Mar 17, 2018

Kintyre residents demand more for their votes

Published:Sunday | November 20, 2016 | 12:00 AMJovan Johnson
Ronald Kerr, resident of Kintyre, St Andrew
Kingsley Haase
The community centre
The community centre

On election night, one of the divisions that the eyes of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP) will be fixed on is Kintyre, which will be crucial to controlling the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation.

The residents know this and have made it clear that they are not satisfied with the lack of development in their division, and are wary of politicians chasing their votes, bearing promises.

Street lights, roads, and unemployment are just some of the issues they say councillor aspirants need to address.

"Whole heap a young youth deh yah need some work," Ronald Kerr, 51, told The Sunday Gleaner.

"If the youth dem have something to do, dem will pay less attention to crime and violence. Dem (the Government) a try, mi nah beat dem down. But too much youth a leave school and nuh have nothing a duh, both male and female. Right yah now, mi sit down and observing, and a lot of them just walking up and down half-naked."

He said the councillors can help by "giving them things to do. Just keep them occupied."

Kingsley Haase, another Kintyre resident, argued that electricity, water and roads are his main concerns. "Likkle ting a gwaan fi di road still but it a go need more. We get water couple time, like all two time fi di week, sometime we nuh get none."

His son, Ainsley, noted that social life in the area has been affected by the lack of working street lights on St Joseph's Road.

"The present street lights are very shabby at nights. A lot of students are in the area and most times they are afraid to come out, even to interact with people because of the darkness," he said, pointing to the broken structures.

Although his father declared himself a JLP supporter, young Haase sees things differently. "Me will vote for anybody. Whoever is doing the work I will vote for. He knows me," he shared.




He also pointed to the community centre that is used by the HEART Trust/NTA to help residents acquire certain skills as one of the positives of political representation in the area.

Up the road from the Haases and their group of friends, Lolita Martin, 42, said she was not sure if she would be voting in the November 28 local government elections.

"Mi vote di last election, but I don't know if I will vote dis time. Sometime mi just nuh feel like. You have people guh round and talk to you, yes, but mi is not di type fi just jump around in certain tings," said Martin.

The division is currently held by the PNP's Artnell McDonald, who is seeking re-election. He's being challenged by the JLP's Kelvin Clarke.

Kintyre was among the 26 divisions won by the PNP, which took control of the 40-seat KSAC in the March 2012 local government elections. In the two previous polls, the division exchanged parties.

The advantage appears to be with the JLP this time around, however, based on how the division voted in the February general election. The JLP won it by 424 votes.