Portmore Municipal Council Facilitating Economic Growth

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott (centre), in discussion with (from left) Chairman of the National Housing Trust (NHT), Dr. Carlton Davis and Acting Mayor of Portmore, Leon Thomas during an Ease of Doing Business seminar held at the Portmore Pines Conference Centre in St. Catherine on Thursday (November 6). The event, which was preceded by an Ease of Doing Business fair, was staged by the Portmore Municipal Council in collaboration with the National Housing Trust, through funding from the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, has praised the Portmore Municipal Council for its vital role in facilitating economic development at the community level.
  • He pointed to a notable development being undertaken in Portmore with support from the Council, a project to enhance the quality of life of persons with disabilities in Jamaica, through job creation and improved access to support services.
  • The Minister also mentioned the establishment of the Ackee Village Public Market and Recreational Park, to develop a formal space for market vendors which will streamline vending operations within existing regulatory standards.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, has praised the Portmore Municipal Council for its vital role in facilitating economic development at the community level.

“This Council has taken up the challenge to ensure that…economic activities that are available in Jamaica are advanced (in the municipality),” he said.

The Minister was speaking at an Ease of Doing Business seminar, held at the Portmore Pines Conference Centre in St. Catherine on Thursday (November 6).

He pointed to a notable development being undertaken in Portmore with support from the Council, a project to enhance the quality of life of persons with disabilities in Jamaica, through job creation and improved access to support services.

This he said, has been achieved through the establishment of the Portmore Self-Help Disability Organization (PSDO) Mobility Aid Centre, where disabled persons are being trained in the repair and manufacturing of mobility aid products such as wheelchairs, canes, and other walking supports.

The project is also supported by the HEART College of Construction Services, the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Gregory Park Community Volunteers, other community members and the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED).

The Minister also mentioned the establishment of the Ackee Village Public Market and Recreational Park, to develop a formal space for market vendors which will streamline vending operations within existing regulatory standards.

This project is also being supported by the Ackee Walk Vendors’ Association and CARILED.

In the meantime, Minister Arscott encouraged the Council to utilise entities such as community based organisations for not only community mobilisation and social activism, but begin to focus on how the activities can be transformed into viable business ventures.

He also advised that during council meetings, attendees should seek to move beyond discussing drains and gullies “but start talking about business ideas, business incubation, and what we can do collectively to develop ourselves and our communities”.

Funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), CARILED is a CAN$28.2 million six year project that aims to develop and test models of Local Economic Development (LED) across the Caribbean.

The LED programme seeks to stimulate sustainable economic development through the growth of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector and community economic enterprises.

CARILED, which runs until 2018, is currently being implemented in CARICOM member states by the Caribbean Forum of Local Government Ministries (CFLGM), with assistance from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

Jamaica formalized its participation in the programme in 2013 when the Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the FCM.

Six parishes have been selected for the local programme’s pilot phase. These are: Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine; Manchester, Clarendon, and St. Elizabeth, where projects have been identified in the areas of: eco-tourism, agro-processing, sports, tourism, recycling, and light infrastructure.

The seminar, which was preceded by an Ease of Doing fair, was put on in collaboration with the National Housing Trust, through funding from CARILED.

JIS Social