Wed | Nov 21, 2018

Official: HMC serving unauthorised encroachment notices

Published:Saturday | April 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

It would appear that the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) has given itself a self-inflicted black eye as news has surfaced that, contrary to established protocol, encroach-ment notices are being served without the requisite authorisation from its Physical Planning and Environment Committee (PPEC) .

During the presentation of a report by an enforcement officer at Tuesday's PPEC meeting, Huel Jackson, the corporation's CEO, raised concerns about the fact that the report states that four such notices were served during the month of March, yet, he did not sign off on any of them.

"Mr Chairman, learning now that encroachment notices have been served, and [knowing that] I have not signed any encroachment notice recently, I am taken aback, because I have already given instructions that no encroachment notice is to be served on a photocopy," said Jackson, who was clearly not pleased.

The report stated that the encroachment notices were served with respect to illegal dumping in different sections of the parish and also on the owner of a metal container that was placed on a roadside in the Sandy Bay district.

 

WHAT IS TAKING PLACE?

 

According to Jackson, some time ago, he had signed a notice that was specific to a particular issue, and it now appears that the signed notice was photocopied to capture his signature and other details, which are being filled in on the photocopied forms to suit individuals.

"Under the act, there are various subsections from 51 A up to about J that [say] you must specify what the notices are for or the type of encroachment [it] is, so it cannot be that coincidentally, all notices that are being served under encroachment falls under the same subsection," said Jackson, who noted that, based on what was taking place, he was sure the notices would all carry the same information.

When Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels, the chairman of the meeting, requested that Jackson put his concerns in writing, Jackson said he had spoken to Craig Oates, the manager of the Enforcement Department, about the illegality of the practice. However, he added, the practice continued.

Jackson nonetheless gave Samuels an assurance that he would accede to his instruction and put the matter in writing to the CEO of the corporation for future reference.

When The Gleaner contacted Oates for a comment on the concerns raised by Jackson, he said the matter would be dealt with in-house and refused to comment further.