Mon | Oct 19, 2020

Amos cracks the whip on PNP

Published:Wednesday | August 12, 2020 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Staff Reporter
Newton Amos (second left), JLP caretaker candidate for St Catherine North West, and Milholland Barker (second right), councillor, walk on graves that are built in what was supposed to be the driveway of the Ewarton Cemetery. The burial site is almost full and the municipal corporation is trying to purchase adjoining lands to expand.
A pit toilet at the Ewarton community centre that is in a deplorable state.
A section of the Ewarton Cemetery, with graves covered with vegetation.

Newton Amos, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) standard-bearer for St Catherine North West, is castigating Member of Parliament Robert Pickersgill for failing to maintain the Bramwell Clarke sporting complex, which has fallen in a state of disrepair.

Cecil Bramwell Clarke was a former People’s National Party (PNP) mayor of the then St Catherine Parish Council in the 1970s.

Amos is also calling for the relevant authorities to conduct a probe to determine who operates the community centre, which he alleges has been privatised and access restricted to the public unless large sums are paid to rent the facility.

“It’s no longer a community centre, it now belongs to private operators, which is a breach,” the retired policeman told The Gleaner.

“So they are collecting money from these events and no one knows where the money is being spent, and no matter how you enquire for them to account, you never get a response to indicate what the money is being used for,” he said.

The JLP caretaker said that when he becomes the next member of parliament, he will ensure that the Ewarton community centre is opened up for public use without having to pay onerous sums.

Checks by The Gleaner on August 5 revealed that the community centre lacked proper maintenance with the bathrooms in a deplorable state while a park within the facility was in urgent need of debushing.

“This is a health hazard, creating a breeding site for mosquitoes endangering the community,” Amos said of scores of plastic bottles littering a section of the premises.

“They would have now come and placed a pit toilet at this time in our life,” Amos charged.

“If you have a building like this with all the things that are going on in relation to health issues, why wouldn’t you improve your bathroom facility in-house rather than have an archaic slavery thing like that. Look at that – no cover,” he said, pointing to a toilet with doors missing.

The prospective JLP candidate in the upcoming general election lamented the poor condition of the community complex, questioning why money earned from events staged at the facility is not allegedly being used for upkeep or maintenance of the grounds.

He argued that if a strategic plan for the complex was crafted, a training centre could be erected to help young people gain valuable skills.

Turning his attention to the Ewarton Cemetery, which is next to the community centre, Amos complained that the burial site had reached its capacity, yet persons were still being laid to rest on the premises.

The driveway or walkway into the cemetery has been used as burial spots, leaving persons using the area no choice but to walk on the tombs of the departed.

Commenting on the bad road conditions in the Charlemont Housing Scheme, Amos said that $60 million had been approved by the National Housing Trust to repair roads in the scheme. He said the funds had been allocated to the St Catherine municipality for more than a year and nothing has been done.

He challenged Hugh ‘Hugo’ Graham, the PNP’s prospective candidate and councillor for the Lluidas Vale division, to state whether he knows about the money earmarked for the road repairs.

Amos is also questioning whether there was value for money in a $20-million contract to repair the Treadways Road.

“They have done less than a metre of the road and say the money is finished,” he said.

Amos called on the Integrity Commission to “find out about the expenditure of that $20 million”.