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Government is looking to partner with the private sector in the setting up of a fund for the long-term maintenance of infrastructure in housing schemes.

This was disclosed by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott on Friday (February 10), as he addressed a special sitting of the Clarendon Parish Council in May Pen. 

Mr. Arscott said he plans to approach a major financial institution to establish a special retention fund, which would be jointly monitored by residents and parish councils, and used to maintain schemes and scheme roads, so that these developments can be taken off the books of government.

He noted, however, that a study would first have to be conducted by the financial entity.           

"We've not fully worked out the formulae as yet; just the general outline, but it is envisaged that the councils would oversee the fund, but the citizens would be involved in determining how the money is used. The scheme would now be in a position to do all the maintenance, development and beatification needed," he explained.

Minister Arscott pointed out that in looking ahead, a policy needs to be put in place, where a developer works with the parish council for the long-term maintenance of housing developments.

"It's one of those things that we have to come up with a comprehensive plan for. Once the (financial) study is done I will share it with the parish councils to see how best we can refine it to eventually come up with a long-term programme to once and for all, deal with these housing schemes," he said.

Minister of State in the Ministry, Colin Fagan, who accompanied Mr. Arscott, urged the councillors to exercise greater responsibility in monitoring the quality of roads that are laid by a developer in a residential area.

Mr. Fagan advised them to ensure that roads conform to the standards of  the parish council and reminded them that they have the power to object to a project that is not being done to quality standard.

                                   

By O. Rodger Hutchinson, JIS Reporter