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Stakeholders snubbed in Bernard Lodge development —Jackson

Jamaica Observer 2020-02-15 00:47:24

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Member of Parliament for South St Catherine, Fitz Jackson, says the Andrew Holness-led government has reneged on assurances it gave to stakeholders that there would be wide consultation ahead of any approval of the revised Bernard Lodge Master Plan.

Jackson said yesterday that thousands of residents in St Catherine who will be affected are still awaiting the promised opportunity for their voices to be heard.

He noted that the initial proposal which was announced by the prime minister at Jamaica House over a year ago, gave the assurance that further consultations would take place with the stakeholders ahead of a final decision.

“A hastily convened meeting with the Dunbeholden community was slated to be held 19 hours before the scheduled announcement by the prime minister, and a community meeting was set up in Clifton District, where a regularisation exercise of their tenure has been in progress for some time. These could not be seen as wide stakeholder consultation by any stretch of the imagination,” Jackson said.

The broader Portmore community which will be significantly affected by the scale of the proposed Bernard Lodge development has also not been consulted, he added.

“As the Member of Parliament whose constituency is a part of the Bernard Lodge area, I consider myself a stakeholder making representation on behalf of the thousands of residents who will be affected by any proposed development. I have never been consulted on any revisions or changes made, and for which an opportunity for contribution to the any revision would be afforded,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the Government's continued disrespect of and disregard for the lives and interests of ordinary Jamaicans reinforces and fuels the notion of inequity and inequality across the country.