JIS News

New Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, has vowed to clean up the old capital and to come up with new initiatives and social programmes to deal with crime and violence.
“The laws of this land dictate that expenditure that is currently being used by the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NWSMA) should be spent by the (Parish) Council or with its permission. I give notice today to the Ministry of Local Government (Community Development and Sport) and the NSWMA, that as of September 2005, this council will take a stronger and more proactive role in garbage collection. The town must be cleaned up,” the Mayor said, after he was sworn into office at a ceremony held yesterday (June 30) at the St. Catherine Parish Council.
Councillor Owen Palmer of the Homestead Division, was also sworn in as Deputy Mayor. The investiture ceremony was attended by members of parliament, councillors of the Portmore Municipality and the St. Catherine Parish Council, officials from the University of the West Indies and supporters.In his address, the new Mayor, who is also JLP Councillor for the Naggo Head division, said the Council would be seeking to strengthen relations with the St. Catherine Chamber of Commerce, the Parish Development Committee and the Parish AIDS Committee.
He noted also, that the Council was in the process of identifying landscaping options to create a boulevard effect along the Mandela Highway passing through Central Village and to beautify the roundabouts in Spanish Town. Additionally, he said, the entrances and exits of the capital would be improved “to lift the aesthetic beauty of the town.”
The Mayor further pledged to work with the police and the residents of Spanish Town to come up with new initiatives to fight crime. “We must bear in mind that the Mayor here does not have control over the police force but I pledge to pressure them on behalf of the people that we represent and to do what is in my power to instill hope while finding solutions,” he stated.
He also pointed to plans to implement at least one social outreach programme in the parish to deal with youth at risk, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
In an interview with journalists, Mayor Wheatley said that the University of the West Indies was willing to work with the Parish Council “to implement some form of social intervention programme. We are going into schools, definitely, because we believe that the young minds need to be trained in the right direction and that is where we will start.” He explained that this effort would be part of a massive outreach programme, which would also focus on communities that were “prone to crime and violence.”
“We need to go out into those communities and reach out to the people. We are a local government authority, we should be on the ground with the people,” Mayor Wheatley added.