Wrong claims re Pembroke Hall roads
IN RESPONSE to the letter published in The Gleaner's People's Report section on Saturday, March 3, headlined, 'Pembroke Hall fed up with neglect', I would like to make the following response:
First of all, let me state categorically that I respect the right of all Jamaicans, including my constituents, to express their concerns publicly. However, as the councillor for the Hughenden division, and having been personally referred to by the writer, I need to put certain things in perspective.
It is not true that I was guilty of dumping marl on Cardiff Hall Avenue prior to the last local government election to entice residents to vote for me. Whatever was done was purely remedial work, which was all that was affordable at that time and was welcomed by residents as an interim measure, while I continued to pursue a more permanent solution to the problem.
Lack of funding
I am not denying that many roads in my division are badly in need of repair. However, this is a general problem across the Corporate Area - and the country, for that matter - which requires massive funding. Even at the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation Roads and Works committee, we suffer from a severe lack of funding to carry out these repairs and we were referred to the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Pro-gramme (JDIP) for relief.
Through the efforts of the member of parliament and myself, we were able to get four roads listed for major repair under JDIP - Anglesea, Carwina, Cardiff Hall Avenue and Colbeck - which, based on information, were approved in November 2011 and, hopefully, will be rehabilitated early this year.
In the meantime, I have partnered with residents on several projects to ameliorate road conditions, and have assisted personally by funding some efforts through the purchase of cement and marl while residents provided the labour.
I have consistently provided aggressive representation on behalf of my constituents in dealing with infrastructure problems, including the wall on the banks of the Sandy Gully, which was repaired, saving several houses in the vicinity from being destroyed.
I successfully lobbied for upgrading of the main park along Ken Hill Drive, which now boasts a basketball court and seating, among other improvements; and I have been personally funding the maintenance of this park.
With all of this, I am amazed that Mr Thomas claims that I am not accessible or present in the division. I have attended most monthly meetings of the Pembroke Hall Citizens' Association. I have worked closely with the Pembroke Hall Youth Club over the years, part sponsoring most of their programmes, as well as personally staging an annual six-a-side competition at the community centre, which attracts teams from all over the division competing for the Audley Gordon trophy.
I actually have an office in Mae's Plaza on Ken Hill Drive, which Mr Thomas knows full well is open to him and all constituents who wish to see me or to register issues.
What amazes me even more is his allegation that "we were told unequivocally by him and the oblivious member of parliament, Derrick Smith, that Pembroke Hall was not in their plans". What an incredible statement, when Pembroke Hall has not been disconnected from the constituency.
However, I invite Mr Thomas to visit me at my office at Ken Hill Drive to see if we can channel his communications skills and his passion for the people of Pembroke Hall into a more positive direction.
I intend to continue to offer the highest quality representation to my division into the next term, to which I look forward, God willing, and with the support of the residents of Hughenden.
Audley Gordon, JP, is councillor for the Hughenden division in the Corporate Area.