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ELECTION MANIFESTO - Not worth the paper it's written on

Published:Saturday | March 24, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Andrew Holness, opposition leader, greets residents in Maverley, St Andrew, on March 11, as the Jamaica Labour Party seeks to win the local government elections, scheduled for Monday, March 26. At right is candidate Audley Gordon. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer


Again, in another election gimmick, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) published a local government manifesto that is not worth reading. Long on promises, short on new ideas, the JLP proposed the same bankrupt local government system to the Jamaica people.

When will they ever realise that in order for local government to be effective, efficient and dynamic, the people must be part of the system. If I am a man living in Santa Cruz, how does local governance operating out of Black River spur me to participate?

Local government in Jamaica needs to be radically reformed.

We need a system that fosters intergovernmental relations, pushes enforcement and allows for administration closest to the people. I believe that this can be done through a three-tiered system: the county, parish and municipals.

Why can't we bring the education and health systems closer to the people via the counties?

Why can't we improve the enforcement capacity of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, while allowing for Papine, Cross Roads, Half-Way Tree, Constant Spring and Barbican to become municipalities within the parish of St Andrew?

So, while I trust that the JLP's intentions are good in drafting its local government manifesto, it needs to 'wheel and come again'.


Washington, DC