Fri | Jul 21, 2017

Aliens hurting Hanover says PDC chairman

Published:Tuesday | February 7, 2017 | 2:00 AM
Cleveland Wright

President of the Hanover Parish Development Committee (HPDC) Cleveland Wright says that community structures have broken down in the parish because there are few if any Hanoverians in leadership positions in any of the key government departments and agencies operating there, and leadership at the community level is lacking.

"The parish is suffering from too much aliens. Too many people who are in charge of the parish are outsiders. they only have a job in the parish. they don't have any concern about parish development, no attachment. They are professionals passing through. from the pastor right down, everyone is a pass-though person who has no connection to the communities at all," Wright said.

"So there is a disconnect. And as long as there is a disconnect in the parish, there is not going to be anything tangible because the parish is suffering from a lack of leadership. And you can't really blame the professionals who come in. Leadership must come from within the community first," he added.

Wright said that Hanover had become what he described as a "free-for-all". He said that the people were disenfranchised because of the poor leadership on the part of elected officials and some community members.

"You have a parish that has no local leadership and is depending on the institutional leadership, which are people from outside. If you interview all the parish managers and the senior workers in these agencies, there are no Hanoverians there. Every meeting that I go, that is my main topic now: that the parish has been disenfranchised because of the leadership quality," he said.

"Imagine somebody lef from Clarendon, lef dem family, come a Hanover to become pastor or to do some work in a poverty-stricken community - they have a social responsibility back home. They are thinking about their homes, their families, and the things happening back home. They don't have too much concern about Hanover, he said.

 

NO FUNCTIONING COMMUNITY

 

Wright said that he was not pleased with the performance of the agencies responsible for community development as most communities have no functioning community-based organisations such as citizens' associations or youth clubs.

"They are not touching the ground; the officers are staying in office; they play office agents and authoritarians. They don't work within communities to mobilise, and they expect agencies like the HPDC and other groups to organise on their behalf when it should be the other way around. They don't want to do the ground work. They want you to do the ground work and then they come in, put their organisation on it, when their job is to go into communities and organise community groups," Wright said.

"The problem is, they don't want to strengthen the community-based organisations. They don't want to play that role. I think it is laziness and lack of sincerity," he added.

- C.G.