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Manchester is in good hands, says PNP

Published:Thursday | March 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Dave Lindo, Gleaner Writer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

THE PEOPLE'S National Party (PNP) has expressed joy at retaining the Manchester Parish Council after dominating the local government elections, bettering their showing in 2007 by scoring a 11-4 victory over the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

In 2007, the PNP had edged the JLP 8-7 to win the parish council. An upbeat Brenda Ramsay, who was the chairman of the parish council and mayor of Mandeville prior to the elections, said: "Naturally, we are elated and we were in no doubt that we would have retained the Manchester Parish Council for the People's National Party, because we believe we have been doing things, which the general public has recognised."

Ramsay said for the new term her team will be looking to do even better. "We will have to look in a holistic way on how we approach governance, and certainly to get more civil society involvement."

She added: "We note that we had a low turnout (of voters), although this is traditional when it comes to local government. However, we would want to change that, and the whole role and responsibility of the parish council as it impacts on the society."

Clean sweep

The PNP had a clean sweep in the NW Manchester constituency, winning all four divisions. The closest challenge from the JLP was Timothy Scarlett who went down by 279 votes to the PNP's Fairbourne Maxwell. Scarlett was the only JLP candidate to have won his division in the 2007 local government elections in North West Manchester.

The JLP's best showing in the parish came from the North East Manchester constituency where they won two of the three divisions, Craig Head and Christiana.

The party's other two victories were in Knockpatrick, Central Manchester, and Grove Town division in South Manchester.

Brenda Ramsay had the widest margin of victory for the PNP when she turned back the challenge of JLP's Ian Hibbert 1,846-599 votes.

JLP candidate for New Green division, Craig Larmond, who lost to the PNP's McArthur Collins, said he will not be deterred in his political ambitions by the defeat.

"We have some young and vibrant candidates in the parish, we just have to continue the work that we have been doing in the communities and we will be looking for a better showing in the future. We thank all the people who have supported the party in the election," Larmond said.