KINGSTON — Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has assured that the relocation of the operations of the Point Hill Post Office in St. Catherine to the nearby community of Lluidas Vale is a temporary measure.
Speaking at today's (Sept. 14) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Minister Vaz informed that preparations are being made to house the post office on the same premises as the Point Hill Police Station, until a permanent solution is reached.
Providing background to the situation, he explained that the landlord for the Point Hill premises had previously served notice, and had indicated that improvement work would be undertaken on the building.
"On September 6, the regional inspector informed that the landlord had actually visited the premises with the intention to remove the roof and start repairs…this forced the Postmaster General and the regional inspectors to take action to secure government assets and people's mail. The decision was taken to remove and relocate temporarily to the Lluidas Vale Post Office, where there is sufficient space to handle (postal services for both locations)," Mr. Vaz outlined.
He noted that the Postmaster General, the regional inspector, and the Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, are in discussion to return the post office to Point Hill, shortly.
"I just want to indicate to the people of Point Hill and the areas that are served (by the post office), that the action had to be taken when it was taken and we are looking forward to restoring your postal arrangements in the coming days," the Minister stated.
He noted that certain fixtures would have to be put in place to accommodate the operations of the post office such as a safe and a service counter.
Meanwhile, Minister Vaz said that plans are still in place for the modernisation of the country's postal services, through the introduction of services such as automatic teller machines (ATMs), which can benefit communities and increase the revenue capacity of post offices.
The initiative, which also involves the rationalisation of postal agencies and post offices, is part of the public sector modernisation plan. Minister Vaz noted that while the plan has not been officially implemented, due to fiscal constraints, some facilities have been closed.
"This (modernisation) plan is ambitious in the short term based on the fact that it will require several hundreds of millions of dollars….what we are trying to do now is rationalize with the least fallout for communities," he stated.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter & Editor