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Lucea councilor wary of removing residents from river banks

Published:Wednesday | June 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Residents make their homes near the Lucea West River in Hanover.
A section of the Lucea West River near the Riley Bridge, where residents have made their home for decades.


Councillor FOR the Lucea Division of the Hanover Parish Council, Neville Clare, has expressed some misgivings

about Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's directives to the Ministry of Local Government to commence removal of persons living near or on riverbanks.

The prime minister made the statement at a meeting of the National Disaster Committee at Jamaica House on June 3. She said if persons refused to relocate, an enforcement order should be issued for them to move.

But Clare, who is a former parish manager of the National Works Agency (NWA), told The Gleaner that while he was not au fait with the prime minister's directives, the process of removal, specifically regarding residents who live on the banks of the Lucea West River in his division, was easier said than done.


"I am not certain if those individuals just imposed themselves on the bank like that ... . It might be their own land; I don't know. So that has to be checked first before we can be certain even if we can move anybody. If they are squatters, then you can move them, and it will be difficult still," Clare told The Gleaner yesterday.

He also said that the removal of persons at Riley, would be the responsibility of the NWA and not the Hanover Parish Council.

"If it's their land, we would have to make arrangements to know how we are going to relocate them ... . If we relocate them, we would have to compensate them, you know. If a fi dem place, you can't just move them so. Riley would not impact on the council, it would impact on National Works Agency because it is their road Ö . So is not [Hanover] Parish Council, [as it relates to] Riley in particular," he added.