In looking towards 2013, Western Focus asked five persons who have been making an indelible mark on western Jamaica to reflect on the past year and give projections for the new year.
Denise Dear, founder of western Jamaica-based Wise Women's Club
Economy-wise, things are not very good. We need to create more jobs.
The crime rate is far too high and there is really an urgent need to start tackling crime more seriously.
Road safety needs much attention as there are far too many irresponsible drivers on the road. We also need better street lighting and more pedestrian crossings.
We need to address the situation with our children's homes in terms of ensuring that we have the right personnel working with the children. Currently, there are far too many children at risk in these homes.
Dr Beverly Scott, child and family therapist
I am happy that we are now seeing a greater awareness as it relates to child- protection issues.
I think there are a lot of uncertainties, especially with Government, in regards to the many unfulfilled pre-election promises.
I think we are improving in terms of crime fighting as more sophisticated methods are being used. Kudos to the Ministry of National Security and their respective subsectors.
I believe the future can be bright, once we get our priorities right.
Rev Charles Brevitt, Seventh-day Adventist pastor
We have had some gruesome crimes in 2012, but thankfully, we are now seeing a reduction. I am hopeful that things will be better in 2013.
We need to put an end to the piecemeal method of road repairs and really get about the business of proper road repairs and maintenance.
There is a need for more social programmes to address conflict management - a greater emphasis on proper parenting, and a structured approach to community development.
The bickering in education needs to stop and greater attention paid to matters such as teachers' salaries and the all-round development of our children.
Richard Burke, president of Trelawny Chamber of Commerce
2012 was not as good as I had hoped it would have been. However, going into the New Year, I believe if we pay attention to the right things, we could have a great year.
I am hoping that more business will flow into Falmouth from the cruise-ship pier, so that we can further develop the town.
I hope the construction of the new market, which is earmarked for Falmouth, will begin soon, as the town really needs a new facility.
Noel Morris, CEO of Westmoreland-based House of Leeds Recording Company
We need to place a much greater emphasis on good parenting so that our children will begin to understand the importance of good values and attitudes.
We need to begin to show more love to each other as, without love, we will not be able to unite and prosper as one nation.
We need to create more opportunities for our youngsters in education and training so that they will understand the value of work in nation building.