PM says making Portmore a parish not an ‘election gimmick’ Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader Andrew Holness on Sunday announced that the party’s political machinery is ready for local government elections.

He also spoke about issues on the national agenda, including making Portmore a parish.

Holness was speaking as the political party held its central executive meeting at its headquarters on Belmont Road in Kingston, where members of the executive gave reports on the readiness of the political machinery and its preparedness for an election whenever it is called.

On the issue of Portmore becoming the country’s 15th parish, the party leader and prime minister made it clear that making Portmore a parish was never intended as an election gimmick or a strategy to win Portmore.

Holness said that the country is evolving economically, culturally, and socially.

“This evolution requires the government to make strategic changes to enhance the development of areas like Portmore, which requires changes in definition and management to further its development,” a release from the governing party said.

JLP Leader Andrew Holness at the political party’s central executive meeting at the party’s Belmont Road HQ on Sunday.

Holness was reportedly adamant that his government would never seek to use the people of Portmore for narrow political objectives.

Holness also spoke to road infrastructure, pointing out that roads have become a political flashpoint where some persons feel that in order to get their roads repaired, they must protest.

He advised that roads continue to be a critical priority for the government.

The party’s central executive was also told that the new SPARK Program will provide a collaborative approach between the government, MPs, councillors, and community members.

He instructed them to work collaboratively and help ensure that the government’s focus on road infrastructure is successful.

Holness also shared that at the next sitting of Parliament, the Government will outline a consultative process for communities to contribute to the decision-making on which roads should be repaired in their communities but emphasised that priority ought to be given to those roads considered to be pain points in communities.

Meanwhile, he said he was confident in the prospects of the JLP for the upcoming elections, as the internal polling numbers showed the party maintaining a strong lead in a majority of parish council seats.

He also challenged members to ensure that they focus on their communities to highlight the strong achievements that have been made over the last six years under the governing JLP.

He added that no other government has done as much for local government, and only a JLP-led government has the vision and the expertise to continue the positive evolution of local government in Jamaica.