Two days of touring infrastructure projects in the city of Montego Bay by Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, culminated with a visit to the new police station being built in Montego Hills; the proposed site for a Centre of Excellence Training Centre at the old Glendevon Market; and the recently opened sports facility in Catherine Hall.
Mr. Golding also toured projects being carried out by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), along with other agencies and organisations, in collaboration with Government Ministries, in the Flanker and Lilliput communities.
Speaking with journalists, Mr. Golding pointed out that work on the Montego Hills Police Station was in progress, and that this had come about through the insistence of the Members of Parliament for the parish, working with the Ministry of National Security and the private sector.
Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding (2nd left), walks across the track of the recently opened Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall, followed by Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang (left); and Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Charles Sinclair Jnr. (right); along with Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (2nd right); and President of the St. James Football Association, George Evans (3rd right). The Prime Minister and an official party were on a tour of major infrastructure projects in Montego Bay.
“As you see it’s still in its early stages not yet complete, they (the police personnel) have been installed there and already it has quite an effect on the level of crime in the community. We have some more work to do to complete the station, and to put it in the kind of shape that will facilitate the kind of policing that we want in that area,” he said.
The move to establish the Montego Hills police station came about due to the high level of violence connected to gang related activities, which was occurring in that area of the city, and which also affected several surrounding communities.
With respect to the visit to the proposed site for the Glendevon Training Centre, Prime Minister Golding explained that it was an old market that was never used, which will be converted to good use.
“It’s going to be quite a comprehensive facility when it is through,” he explained, while outlining some of the plans for the facilities. He said the project will be done under the Citizen Security and Justice initiative in collaboration with the HEART Trust/ NTA.
It is expected that up to 200 young people will be trained at the facility, and become HEART Trust /NTA certified in various disciplines.
Meanwhile, the sport facility in the Catherine Hall area of the parish was built through assistance from the Venezuelan Government, in collaboration with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC). The facility is one of several sporting and cultural facilities upgraded under the San Jose Accord.
The facility was built at a cost of approximately US$14 .9 million, and seats approximately 7,000 persons. It was officially opened on June 5.
Mr. Golding is already seeking to improve the facility however, through the installation of lighting to facilitate nighttime activities within the complex. He also mentioned the necessity for improvement to the football field there.
The Prime Minister announced that plans are being finalised for the transfer management of the facility to the St. James Parish Council.
“I have already given approval for the transfer and handing over of this facility to the St. James Parish Council. The UDC has been doing the project, but this facility belongs to Montego Bay and there is no reason why we at UDC should try to manage this facility all the way from Kingston,” he emphasised.
He said the discussions on the handing over to the Parish Council are far advanced.