Kin­tyre res­i­dents de­mand more for their votes

Jamaica Gleaner - - RELIGION & CULTURE - Jo­van Johnson Staff Reporter jo­van.johnson@glean­erjm.com

ON ELEC­TION night, one of the di­vi­sions that the eyes of the Ja­maica Labour Party (JLP) and the Peo­ple’s National Party (PNP) will be fixed on is Kin­tyre, which will be cru­cial to con­trol­ling the Kingston and St Andrew Cor­po­ra­tion.

The res­i­dents know this and have made it clear that they are not sat­is­fied with the lack of de­vel­op­ment in their di­vi­sion, and are wary of politi­cians chas­ing their votes, bear­ing prom­ises.

Street lights, roads, and un­em­ploy­ment are just some of the is­sues they say coun­cil­lor as­pi­rants need to ad­dress.

“Whole heap a young youth deh yah need some work,” Ron­ald Kerr, 51, told The Sun­day Gleaner.

“If the youth dem have some­thing to do, dem will pay less at­ten­tion to crime and violence. Dem (the Gov­ern­ment) a try, mi nah beat dem down. But too much youth a leave school and nuh have noth­ing a duh, both male and fe­male. Right yah now, mi sit down and ob­serv­ing, and a lot of them just walk­ing up and down half-naked.”

He said the coun­cil­lors can help by “giv­ing them things to do. Just keep them oc­cu­pied.”

Kings­ley Haase, an­other Kin­tyre res­i­dent, ar­gued that elec­tric­ity, wa­ter and roads are his main con­cerns. “Likkle ting a gwaan fi di road still but it a go need more. We get wa­ter cou­ple time, like all two time fi di week, some­time we nuh get none.”

His son, Ains­ley, noted that so­cial life in the area has been af­fected by the lack of work­ing street lights on St Joseph’s Road.

“The present street lights are very shabby at nights. A lot of stu­dents are in the area and most times they are afraid to come out, even to in­ter­act with peo­ple be­cause of the dark­ness,” he said, point­ing to the bro­ken struc­tures.

Al­though his fa­ther de­clared him­self a JLP sup­porter, young Haase sees things dif­fer­ently. “Me will vote for any­body. Who­ever is do­ing the work I will vote for. He knows me,” he shared.

COM­MU­NITY CEN­TRE

He also pointed to the com­mu­nity cen­tre that is used by the HEART Trust/NTA to help res­i­dents ac­quire cer­tain skills as one of the pos­i­tives of political rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the area.

Up the road from the Haases and their group of friends, Lolita Martin, 42, said she was not sure if she would be vot­ing in the Novem­ber 28 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

“Mi vote di last elec­tion, but I don’t know if I will vote dis time. Some­time mi just nuh feel like. You have peo­ple guh round and talk to you, yes, but mi is not di type fi just jump around in cer­tain tings,” said Martin.

The di­vi­sion is cur­rently held by the PNP’s Art­nell McDon­ald, who is seek­ing re-elec­tion. He’s be­ing chal­lenged by the JLP’s Kelvin Clarke.

Kin­tyre was among the 26 di­vi­sions won by the PNP, which took con­trol of the 40seat KSAC in the March 2012 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions. In the two pre­vi­ous polls, the di­vi­sion ex­changed par­ties.

The ad­van­tage ap­pears to be with the JLP this time around, how­ever, based on how the di­vi­sion voted in the Fe­bru­ary gen­eral elec­tion. The JLP won it by 424 votes.

Ron­ald Kerr, res­i­dent of Kin­tyre, St Andrew.

Kings­ley Haase

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