Mr. Speaker, I rise to make my contribution to the Sectoral Debate. I do not take this opportunity for granted. I remain committed to the people of SE St. Ann who have reposed their confidence in me. My sincere gratitude to my constituency executive, cluster managers, workers, my personal office staff, and my family of constituents who consistently go over and beyond the call of duty. To my four Councillors, a special thanks.
I wish to salute, in particular, Councillor Lydia Richards who achieved a milestone, this year — forty-one years of dedicated service as a teacher.
A special tribute to my Prime Minister, who not only gave me the opportunity to serve, but continues to provide wise insights and guidance.
I must also say thank you to my political colleagues in this House and my regional executive management team, MPs and councillors.
Special Commendation to my Permanent Secretary and staff in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, my board chairmen and heads of agencies.
Finally, I wish to pay tribute to my family: my mother and sister; my rock, Richard and my inspiration, Alexander who continue to love and support me.
I would like to take a few minutes to speak about my SE St. Ann. I wish to highlight a few projects that will be implemented this year. These projects will provide extensive benefits to the constituency and to the nation as a whole. These are the highway, health care, agricultural development and water.
Few realise that the SE of today is quite different from the SE St. Ann of yesterday. In my last election I received a boundary cut that removed almost 50% of my old voters and replaced them with voters from an adjoining constituency. This time I increased my margin of victory increased to 4,245.
As one of the largest rural constituencies, the need for adequate roads is paramount. We spent in in excess of J$45M over this past year doing major roads repairs. Importantly, however, the new highway, which will open shortly, will reduce the transit time to the constituency, opening up economic opportunities for people in Kingston and other parishes to come to St. Ann and do business.
This year we will be upgrading the water systems for Claremont, Higgin Town, McNie, Moneague Roadside, Walkerswood, ThatchHill, Beecher Town and Parry Town. On April 25 we completed the laying of approximately 1,000 metres of Pipe so that all sections of the eastern side of the community of Parry Town are now being served or have access. We will roll out the other projects shortly. I want to thank the Ministry of Water, Land and Climate Change as the residents of these areas will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.
I am also grateful to CHASE for funding the completion of the community centre at Rio Hoe with a full lifestyle park and sports facility for families to visit and enjoy.
I am grateful to the Minister of Health for responding to my appeals to have better health care facilities. In another couple of weeks we will open our Medical Facility – Centre of Excellence in Claremont. It will assist persons, not only in SE but across the parish with longer opening hours, more space, improved technology and additional days of operation. Patients, especially our elderly, will no longer have to travel to St. Ann’s Bay but will be assisted closer to home…READ MORE