Local gov’t campaign heats up in Chester Castle
While no date has been announced for the impending local government elections, campaigning activities are heating up Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) camp in the Chester Castle division in Hanover Eastern, where a run-off is slated for December 13 to determine who will be the party’s standard-bearer.
Incumbent councillor, businessman Fearon DeCarish, is now out defending his stewardship in a bid to beat back the challenge of retired educator Kaydeen Miles-Campbell, who is seeking to replace him as the party’s representative for the division in the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation.
The Gleaner has been reliably informed that the delegates list for the run-off was issued to both candidates by the JLP’s leadership last week Friday. The venue is yet to be announced.
When The Gleaner caught up with the two candidates, both were exuding confidence that, come the run-off date, they will emerge victorious. However, DeCarish indicated that he has reasons to believe that there is an internal plot to remove him. He noted that he is aware of the origins of the plot.
“I know where all this is coming from, but I am not scared. I welcome a challenge because that is what it is all about,” said DeCarish. “The challenge that I face is not just a challenge from a person or an individual, who have decided that they want to go forward, it is coming from way, way, way down, so I have no problem with a challenge.”
The first-term councillor argued that his term has been under a People’s National Party-led Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), which has restricted his potential to do as much as he would like to.
“At no time at all it is going to make me look good working from a corporation that is being run by the opposition,” added DeCarish, who expressed disgust with the way the challenge to his position as chairman of the division was handled, arguing that as far as he is concerned, protocols were not followed.
In regard to the challenger Miles-Campbell, who is bubbling with confidence, she told The Gleaner that it is about time that the division gets transparent and accountable representation.
Confident about success
“I am extremely confident about being successful. My decision to jump into this race was not taken lightly, it was after very careful deliberation as I have lived in that area (the division) for a long time, about 30 years, so I know the division well,” she said.
Miles-Campbell, who is renowned for her social work in the division, primarily through her affiliation with various service clubs over the years, says her aim is to build sustainable and resilient communities, while empowering the young people.
“The area needs representation, it needs persons who can advocate on its behalf at the HMC level. Even if the JLP is the minority in the HMC, you should have a strong enough voice to be able to be heard and for things to be done,” insisted Miles-Campbell.
The challenger said that representation of all of the people all of the time is very important to her, so it is against that background that she was asking the delegates to look at what persons have to offer before making their decision in the run-off on December 13.
The Chester Castle division is famous for booting out local representatives who are deemed to be non-performers, irrespective of party affiliation.