Thu | Dec 3, 2020

PM urges St Thomas residents to respect urban centre

Published:Friday | June 28, 2019 | 12:09 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) greets residents of St Thomas who turned out to witness the groundbreaking of the Morant Bay Urban Centre at the old Goodyear Factory on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) greets residents of St Thomas who turned out to witness the groundbreaking of the Morant Bay Urban Centre at the old Goodyear Factory on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has urged residents of St Thomas who will utilise the Morant Bay urban centre to respect and care for the facilities as they conduct their business.

The long-planned integrated business complex that is spearheaded by the Factories Corporation of Jamaica and contracted to the China Harbour Engineering Company was launched on Wednesday with a groundbreaking ceremony on lands which housed the old Goodyear factory.

Speaking at Wednesday’s launch, Holness said that safety, security and public order are paramount for the US$50-million (J$6.25-billion) development.

“We are not going to spend the amount of money that we are spending for it to descend into chaos and disorder. This will not be a place for chaos and disorder. This will be a place for safety, security, sanitation, good behaviour [and] public order,” Holness said.

“So when you come inside here, whatever behaviour you would have had outside, you leave it outside,” he said.

Cautioning against what he referred to as the cultural problem of disorder, the prime minister said that many Jamaicans need to familiarise themselves with proper conduct.

Said Holness: “The place will be designed for order and Jamaicans have to get used to that because your disorder, though you might feel is good for you, is bad for everybody else. And then, for everybody else to move freely and function and get what they want, they have to behave disorderly too and then turn ‘round and expect the police to address the cultural problem of disorder. I have to just talk it as it is.”

He added: “So we’re not going to put down the billions of dollars here for it to turn out just like anywhere else.”

The Morant Bay Urban Development Centre, Holness revealed, is to be equipped with the necessary security apparatus to include cameras, sensors and other security features such as a police post.

The centre is expected to be built to the tune of approximately US$50 million and is expected to be completed within two years.

Spanning 365,000 square feet, the centre is expected to bring at least 3,000 jobs upon completion and will create a “one-stop shop” for residents with the amalgamation of the essential services provided by the Government, supported by additional services offered by the private sector.

The centre has been earmarked to house the offices for a number of government agencies and private-sector establishments .

rural@gleanerjm.com