Smith unveils plan for St. James Central
The People’s National Party’s candidate for the new constituency of St. James Central, has unveiled some highlights of his development plan which he will implement over the next five years when, according to him, he becomes the Member of Parliament.
Smith said that in the absence of a public debate between himself and his opponent, Councillor Heroy Clarke of the Jamaica Labour Party, who he said, “Has shunned such an encounter,” he has decided to unveil his plan so that constituents may have the opportunity to be aware of what he has to offer. Some of the main highlights of his plan are:
Focus on economic development with emphasis on small and medium-sized businesses, including creation of cottage industries in communities to generate employment (jobs) and encourage entrepreneurship (owning one’s business), teaching people to fish rather than giving them “fish heads” (handouts) now.
Providing space for industrial and commercial development, with emphasis on the furniture industry.
Pursue a people-centered development to guide the development of Montego Bay which will be aimed at bringing the entire Montego Bay community to participate in the planning process.
Establishment of a cultural arts industry, including the recording and marketing of selected artistes (singers, deejays, etc.) for the international market.
Transforming the Civic Centre in Sam Sharpe Square into a full-fledged Cultural Centre that caters to locals as well as tourists.
Education and training will be a major focus, especially for dropouts and persons who wish to pursue tertiary education.
Upgrading and providing green areas and open space for sports and recreational activities throughout the constituency.
Revisit the downtown Montego Bay Waterfront catalyst project as outlined in the GMRC Development Plan.
Pursue reallocation exercises particularly in sections of Canterbury, King Street and North Gully.
Implement the proposed revitalization of the inner city through land assemblies starting with Railway Lane and Barracks Road properties which will give space to local Montegonians for business and commercial activities in an orderly fashion.
Acquisition and development of Grinion Land in Green Pond to provide a range of housing solutions and to develop a seamless and attractive corridor from Green Pond to Cornwall Courts, adding value to the Green Pond properties and to appreciate the investment of property owners of Cornwall Courts and the elimination of the appearance of squatter settlement.
The conversion of the Slaughter House into a modern meat processing plant.
Encourage private sector initiatives to provide a range of housing solutions in a programme to revitalize inner city neighbourhoods along with the provision for industrial and commercial activities. This will assist in reducing the congestion of the urban centre and provide development opportunities within these marginalized neighbourhoods. This initiative will assist in the elimination of squatter settlements and the over dependence on government to provide housing solutions.
Infrastructural development of roads, footpaths, water supply, sewage, garbage collection, beautification, gullies will take top priority.
The integration of lands that fall under the Local Improvements (Community Amenities) Act, inclusive of Buck Toe Lane, Gaynor Square and the widening of existing footpaths to accommodate vehicular traffic and to open these properties for investment and residential development, security of tenure, water and electrical supplies. These lands stretch from Green Pond along Salt Spring main road including Musso Land, Chenneys Land, Felman Corner, Grant Land. A process which was started by the late Mayor Arthur Gilchrist under COMFORT.
Encourage and give support to the development of the European Plan and bed and breakfast type tourism, the kind of tourism that will benefit the ordinary Jamaican.
Establish an annual Montego Bay Homecoming programme which will lay the foundation for Montegonians abroad to come back and interact with the city through entertainment, sports and investments.
Pursue the proposal to cover the North Gully in the downtown area and establish a permanent cleaning programme.
Smith who is a past president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, says that he is fully equipped to deal with the many problems that plague the western city and should therefore be given the opportunity to help the tourism capital make that quantum leap.