Stakeholders pleased with improved state of Lucea town
Stakeholders in Lucea have called on residents of the town to take responsibility to help the chairman of the Hanover Parish Council and the town's mayor, Wynter McIntosh, in his efforts to keep the seaport town clean.
In mid-October, the newly-elected mayor spearheaded a clean-up programme for the town which has been plagued by illegal dumping and widespread littering. The programme included the removal of 40 tonnes of garbage and the establishing of a 10-man garbage removal and maintenance crew.
But vice-president of the Clifton/Mt Peace Farmers Group, Ray Kerr, says the mayor's efforts could be impacted by the behaviour of some of the town's residents who are still making a mess of its streets.
"The shopkeepers and supermarkets should take responsibility for their own garbage, especially in and around the bus park. The drains are clean, but close to the sea, there is still some garbage. I don't know if it's the shopkeepers or individual people who are doing it. People are also still throwing a lot of garbage over a wall by the sea. Maybe the council needs to start prosecuting people who do that, using the people in the blue suits (municipal police). It is not a bad effort, but they need to sustain it," Kerr said.
Vice-president of the Hanover Parish Development Committee, Leonard Sharpe, told Western Focus that the council should take a zero-tolerance approach to any littering of the town.
"The state of the town is much cleaner than what it used to be before. It used to be dirty and nasty. Now, you have a new mayor of the council trying to do his best. However, the people need to help him to do what he is doing. In order for us to help him, all of us who use the town need to take a stand and stop littering the town. The council alone can't keep the town clean. The other day the council did a clean-up and it took a lot of work to put the town in the state it is in now," Sharpe said.
"If we are littering the town, we must be ticketed. The council should start issuing tickets to people - bus drivers, taxi drivers, all those people who, when they drive, they throw things through the window; people who eat from lunch boxes and throw it out in the road, and all those people who sometimes give di likkle 'coke head' dem one likkle $50.00 fi go throw dem garbage down at the roadside and all those things. Start giving dem ticket. Otherwise Lucea is going to go back to what it used to be," he added.
He added: "This mayor is putting in a lot of effort. He is putting a lot of emphasis on ensuring that the town and its environs are clean, and it doesn't look like some ghetto area. I am satisfied with what he has done."
Illicit dumping activities
President of the Riverside Farmers Group, Donald Campbell, said while he, too, was happy for the improvements, he was still concerned that there were food establishments which were still conducting illicit dumping activities with impunity.
"I appreciate the covering of the drain beside the bus park. It used to be a disgrace. That is a great improvement," Campbell said. "But, there is a littering problem and rats are still running wild in Lucea. We are a lawless set of people and there are people who encourage the lawlessness. Because you put a fish market in place, for example, and despite that, you still have people scaling fish at the front of the market.
"Where is the municipal police to ensure that they go in the market and keep the fish there? The municipal police is there to ensure the council's rules are adhered to, not only to go around with a book collecting parking fees and going to the market and collecting market fees. I never heard of anybody in Hanover being charged for illegal dumping or littering. If they were prosecuting people, the town would be a lot cleaner, because the law is there," he stated.