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Cabinet has approved the sale of lands at Bernard Lodge in St. Catherine to the Heart Institute of the Caribbean for $60 million.
Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information and Telecommunications, Hon. Daryl Vaz, made the announcement at the weekly post-Cabinet media briefing held earlier this week at Jamaica House.
He said that the Heart Institute proposes to use the approximately 8.14 hectares of property (20 acres) to construct a permanent facility for cardiac diagnostic and treatment services and a clinical education and research centre.
Approval was also given to a proposal for the development of 7.42 hectares of lands adjoining the existing Aviary Housing Development in St. Catherine, by West Indies Home Contractors Limited (WIHCON), under the Facilitation Agreement with the Ministry of Water and Housing.
Water Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, will submit the proposal and the relevant plans for approval at a later date in keeping with Section 49 of the Housing Act.
Cabinet also considered and agreed to support the formal establishment of the Caribbean Forum of Local Government Ministers (CFLGM), which would enable that body to be recognised as an institution of CARICOM, as well as to acquire any legal status necessary for it to benefit from international assistance.
Cabinet confirmed Jamaica’s function as Chair of the Forum until a new Chair is selected. The CFLGM was inaugurated in April 2004 by Caribbean Ministers of Local Government, who were attending a Symposium on Local Government and Local Democracy in Montego Bay, St. James.
CFLGM consists of Ministers responsible for Local Government in CARICOM member states. It brings together and facilitates networking among regional policy makers and fosters collaboration and co-operation among CARICOM states, in respect of local governance and local democracy.