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JIS News

Mayor of Savanna-La-Mar and Chairman of the Westmoreland Parish Council, Councillor Bertel Moore, has expressed optimism about the ability of the Parish Development Committee (PDC) to set the groundwork for its economic rebirth.

Speaking at the first Council meeting for 2012 on Thursday (January 12), and the first since the 2011 General Election, Mayor Moore said that parish entities will be brought on board, through the PDC, to move Westmoreland forward.

"We recognise that certain infrastructures must be put in place, such as a better road network throughout the parish, for real development to take place. When this has been achieved, we can speak with business organisations and developers for the appropriate measures to commence," Mayor Moore told JIS News.

He pointed to the possibilities for job creation, which could see hundreds of youths joining the workforce. He noted that, recently, a developer had a groundbreaking for a project involving the slaughtering of pigs.

"When it gets off the ground it could easily create over 50 jobs for persons, and the overall multiplier effect would result in a positive economic outlook for Westmoreland. The PDC is also looking at the Whitehouse area and the possibility of serious discussions with the Minister of Tourism," Mayor Moore told JIS News.

Chairman of the PDC, Rev. Carlton Wilson, agreed that the committee has critical role to play in engendering economic growth in Westmoreland. He noted that the PDC has discovered that there are few employment opportunities for high school and tertiary levels graduates.

"We are, therefore, looking at establishing development programmes that would bring back to the parish some of our skilled persons, and some of our intellectuals, to provide more services and attract more investments," he stated.

He said that efforts have been made to get more community and PDC members involved in fashioning a strong development plan, and framework, for the parish.