JIS News

A steering committee consisting of eleven business leaders in Portmore, St Catherine has been established to spearhead the formation of a private sector organisation of Portmore.
The committee was formed at a business sector meeting on Wednesday (Sept. 24) at the Lion’s Civic Centre in Edgewater, St. Catherine and attended by a wide cross section of business leaders from Portmore.
The Chairman of the newly elected steering committee is Ranford White of Mt. Royal Development. Other members include Norman Walker, Nicholas Azan, Noel Brown, Donna Walsh, Archibald McCalla, Leroy Cooke, Doreen Holness, Dr. Dane Levy, Patricia Campbell and Millicent Lynch. The group will meet next Wednesday to identify two representatives who will sit on the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Portmore Municipality and to determine their articles and memorandum for the organisation.
The business meeting was organised by the Social Development Commission (SDC) and is a follow-up to an earlier meeting this month, to sensitise the Portmore business community about the governance structure of Portmore and to highlight the importance of the sector in the development of the Municipality of Portmore.
In his address to the gathering, Mayor George Lee said that the business community “must see themselves as partners with the Municipality in the areas of growth and development.”
“If the environment becomes worse, people will move out of Portmore. If the roads are not fixed, people will move out of Portmore. If the crime gets too bad, people will leave Portmore and businesses will fail. So you have a vested interest in the development of Portmore,” he stressed.
The Mayor called on the business leaders to help “tackle crime” in the Municipality and announced plans by the Portmore Council to host a “Citizens’ Crime Initiative” on November 15, whereby, the Council would be calling on citizens to work with the Police in dealing with crime.
He said that even though the crime rate was not as high in Portmore as it was in other areas, the criminals were visiting the area when they were “under pressure in Kingston and other areas.” “They are passing through and one of these days they will stop, and then we will have problems. So we have to be prepared for crime,” he added.
He said the Council was currently identifying suitable commercial lots in Portmore to be available to persons who have set up illegal shops in residential areas.
“We have to begin to put some order into the development of Portmore,” the Mayor said.
Another initiative by the Council, he said, was the launching of a beautification programme scheduled to begin next month. He appealed to the business leaders to work with the Council in cleaning and beautifying their surroundings. “Join us in making certain that you clean and beautify where you are,” he added.

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