PM talks about lessons, issues raised while on Local Gov’t campaign Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says while on the Local Government Election campaign trail, he and his Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) team have learnt several key lessons regarding governance at the parish level.

Among the lessons are the need for parochial councillors to introduce themselves to residents and showcase their projects and initiatives on a wider scale to the populace in their respective divisions. 

“We may very well have to re-engage (on) the conversation about the role and importance of local government as part of the governance structure of the country,” Holness told reporters shortly after casting his ballot in Monday’s Local Government Election at Mona High School in St Andrew.

He said while on the campaign trail, the two main issues that were brought to the fore were roads and water. These, he said, were of no surprise to him.

“I had a curious, but nevertheless, profound statement made to me by a voter, who when I asked him which one you want first—the road or the water—his view was, ‘We want the road first’,” Holness recounted. 

On the other hand, he said issues to do with unemployment did not arise, generally, during the campaign, but it was of concern to some residents in some rural divisions. 

“Issues to do with security didn’t come up at all; that was not an issue from what I picked up in the campaign,” said Holness.

So, too, did issues to do with the economy and the cost of living, which, he said, came up in “pockets” but did not arise to being classified as an issue faced by Jamaicans.

Based on the preliminary count, the JLP has retained seven municipal corporations, while the Opposition People’s National Party retained four divisions. There is currently a tie in two other municipal authorities. 

The final count for all divisions is currently under way across the island.