Mon | Nov 20, 2017

Clayton Williams | Longing for better in Longville Park

Published:Sunday | December 18, 2016 | 12:00 AMClayton Williams
Residents at a crime scene in the housing development at Longville Park, Clarendon.
Residents taking part in a sports day in the Longville Park Housing Scheme.
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This year has been a challenging one for the community of Longville Park in Clarendon.

There were many of issues affecting all sections of the community, including a recurring cry about the place needing to be bushed.

There is also the big question of where do the children play? There is no recreational area for the children in the community, and it is the norm to go on a few streets and see the football post set up and youth making the best of a bad situation.

It is sad to say, but Longville Park is not living up to its name of having one established park in the community that is functional.

Parents and concerned residents have to be vigilant in ensuring the safety of the children by warning taxi drivers to check their speed as one never knows when a child will be running out into the street chasing after a ball.

 

GOOD HAPPENINGS

 

There have been some good happenings in the scheme for 2016 as thanks to the National Housing Trust and HEART Trust/NTA, many residents enjoyed, for free, beneficial courses which make for a good look on a rÈsumÈs.

Among the courses they enjoyed were customer service and event planning. Some residents are now paying a minimal fee to pursue courses in hospitality and other subjects at the Spring Village and Longville Park Community Centres in Phases Two and Three.

The proliferation of youth clubs needs expansion as many who started out during the erection of the scheme are now young men and women.

The police youth club remains active and vibrant, likewise other sports clubs such as cricket, netball, and football.

Infrastructural, wise, we are facing the challenge of getting a police station constructed in the community. Ground was broken for the station in April 2015, but the area is now overgrown by bushes. There has been no word yet on when the station will be completed.

The temporary police post set up in Phase Three is woefully inadequate to carry out the many functions that are needed to take care of the security needs of a huge scheme like this, however, the police are very involved in community activities even with minimal resources.

The administration of the citizens association is still having teething pains, however, there are some functional committees such as the human resource and welfare committee, chaired by Baldvin McKenzie that is reaping a lot of success.

There remain challenges with the collection of garbage as there are times when the truck takes almost two weeks to come around, resulting in the pile-up of garbage, which is not healthy for residents.

As the community leaves 2016 behind and welcomes a new year, the expectation is that the future will see an improvement in the infrastructure such as the healthy zone, which is in dire need of attention; the football and running track, the fencing of the sports area and resurfacing of the netball/basketball court as well as repair to fencing.

There is also the hope that the new year will see a more proactive approach from both the parish council and the NHT in seeking out delinquent and other homeowners who have abandoned their lots, leaving then rundown and posing a threat to residents.

 

BONE OF CONTENTION

 

It is hoped that the authorities will go ahead and bush these areas and add the charge to the property owners.

Since Phase One and Two, the quality of the water has been a bone of contention between the residents and the National Water Commission (NWC).

Most of the residents make the trek to Port Esquivel or the standpipe at Cockpit to source their drinking water needs.

The water has a 'heavy', taste and residents have issues with the quality of the water. Time and time again, they have had meetings with the NWC, with nothing being resolved.

Come 2017, the hope is that there that they, like the residents of Phase Three, will be able to enjoy good quality drinking water.

Looking ahead, the community is now putting steps in place to have the long-awaited Neighbour-hood Watch launched.

As 2016 ends, let us celebrate the good in our community. We should be proud to boast of an additional community centre in Phase Three.

We should also acknowledge our senior citizens club, Kiwanis Club, parent group, Theatre Movement, sports clubs, community street leaders, sector leaders, and association members for keeping the community vibrant and active.

- Clayton Williams is a community activist in Longville Park. Feedback: editorial@gleanerjm.com