JIS News

A report on the investigations surrounding the dismissal of the St Elizabeth Independence Park Caretaker, Michael Bennett has been submitted to Prime Minister Hon Bruce Golding by the Local Government and Community Services Administration Department. Based on the findings of the investigations, Mr. Bennett is reported to have been wrongfully dismissed.
The Local Government department noted that the St Elizabeth Parish Council had failed to carry out a thorough investigation of the incident in which Mr. Bennett is alleged to have had prior knowledge of the arrival of the Prime Minister for a function in St Elizabeth in November last year The caretaker is reported to have neglected to unlock the gate to the park when Mr. Golding arrived by helicopter . This resulted in the police being forced to break off the lock on the gate of the Park to allow entry for the Prime Minister and his party.
A subsequent meeting of the St Elizabeth Parish council’s Establishment Committee is reported to have voted to dismiss Mr. Bennett on the grounds that he had prior knowledge of Mr. Golding’s arrival at the Independence Park.
However, the report said the council had made its decision on the basis of inadequate information. A statement provided by the Superintendent of Police, the reported stated, concurred with the Caretaker’s claim that he had not been informed of the Prime Minister’s visit. According to the investigations, there is no effective and efficient method of communicating information relating to the use of the Park between the parish council and relevant personnel.
The Local Government department is recommending that the Council takes immediate steps to review Mr. Bennett’s case. It is also recommending that proper procedures for passing on information between the Parish council and relevant personnel regarding the use of the Park, be developed. The St Elizabeth Parish Council is to submit a report on the remedial action taken in relation to the case, to the Local Government and Community Services Administration Department.