Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Spanish Town mayor reduces the number of councillors at meetings

Published:Friday | June 19, 2020 | 12:18 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer

Chairman of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation, Norman Scott, has reduced the number of councillors who can physically attend general council meetings, a move he said is designed to adhere to existing protocols relating to social distancing.

The Parish Council Act requires that meetings of the council should not be convened unless there is a two-thirds majority of councillors present.

However, Scott, who is also mayor of Spanish Town, has made a decision that only 16 of the 41 councillors in the parish can attend a general meeting of the corporation. The National Solid Waste Management Authority and the health department are the only two agencies that are allowed to attend.

“Due to the protocol outlined by the prime minister relating to social distancing, the first 16 councillors will be allowed in the meeting room at any time,” Scott stated.

He said those who arrived after will be allowed to sign, and if there is any vacancy, they will be allowed in. The remaining councillors are allowed to participate virtually, according to him.

Scott, who was making the chairman’s announcements at last week Thursday’s general council meeting, said that there is a recognition that the parish is slowly returning to normal with the easing of restrictions by the Government, but there should be no let-up on the protocols designed to curb the virus.

Reinforcing protocols

“I have asked the ministry to place town criers in major towns to constantly reinforce the protocols, because these things cannot be overemphasied,” he said.

Addressing the hurricane season that has already started, Scott said the parish has to be prepared for any eventuality.

“I have once again asked the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management to ensure that the warning system in Old Harbour Bay is up and running so that residents can be alerted to any emerging weather systems, given their proximity to the sea.”

The chairman also paid tribute to the late Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson, who died recently from cancer.