Tag Archives: St Thomas

JLP blames Ferguson, Gov’t for poverty in St Thomas Eastern



The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has accused Dr Fenton Ferguson of poor representation, saying that that was among the reasons for the high rate of poverty in the St Thomas Eastern constituency.

Delano Seiveright, the JLP candidate/caretaker for the constituency, said that the conditions experienced on a ‘Poverty to Prosperity’ tour of the constituency with Opposition Leader Andrew Holness last week showed up a number of examples why St Thomas has become the poorest parish in Jamaica, as outlined in Planning Institute of Jamaica data.

“Collapsed roads, bridges and water systems, along with governmental neglect, widespread unemployment and high rates of poverty were among the long list of issues which were brought to the attention of the JLP leader as we toured sections of the constituency on Thursday and Friday,” Seiveright said in a statement.

He said that the Government and Dr Ferguson, the member of parliament for the constituency, “have failed the parish miserably”. He noted that poverty has more than doubled, from roughly 14 per cent in 2008 to 32.5 per cent or more today, according to the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC).

The JSLC report said that at 32.5 per cent St Thomas replaced St Mary as the poorest parish in 2012.

“To put things into perspective, it is the only parish without a stoplight, has the lowest value in real estate transactions, doesn’t have a parish clock, and is ridden by problems with basic infrastructure at every turn,” Seiveright said.

“There is hardly any worthwhile economic activity, so many young people are depressed and most are desperate to find a way out. Representation, frankly, for St Thomas Eastern cannot get any worse. Despite tremendous potential for development, it has been left to suffer,” he added, noting that the over 500 redundancies at Golden Grove sugar factory, announced recently, would not help the situation.

Seiveright said, however, that it is clear that the people are “keen on fresh ideas, fresh faces, and fresh leadership. They want a change”.

He said that over the two days of the tour, he and Holness shared aspects of a development plan framework for the constituency, which the JLP has been developing.

The tour began at the St Thomas Infirmary in Morant Bay on Thursday, where Holness, Seiveright and other officials met with staff and residents. They also met with representatives of the police and fire brigade, several members of the business sector, market vendors, and residents.

They visited Church Corner, Bamboo River, Lyssons, Prospect, Leith Hall, Port Morant, Airy Castle, Dalvey, Pear Tree River, Arcadia, and Duckenfield, ending with a meeting in Morant Bay on Friday night.

The tour was described by JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang as “highly successful and (had a) really unbelievable turnout”.

He said that this signalled that “the seat is now ready to return to its JLP roots”.

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JLP will do more for St Thomas – Holness



KINGSTON, Jamaica – Opposition Leader Andrew Holness says St Thomas is a symbol of the failure of the Government to provide proper infrastructural and human resource development.

In a news release Friday, Holness said the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is very concerned about the state of overall development in the parish and is particularly concerned about the levels of youth unemployment, lack of water and the state of roads.

Holness said that the JLP has big plans for St Thomas especially in light of recent tours which showed a “tremendous level of neglect of the parish by the Government”.

“The parish of St Thomas continues to be very prominent on the JLP’s agenda”, Holness said.

He added, “the party is eager to return to Government to implement its plans for St Thomas”.

St Thomas man missing


Forty-year-old Otis Bonner, otherwise called ‘Ducks’, of Prospect district in St Thomas, has been missing since Sunday, February 1.

He is of dark complexion, stout build and is about 183 centimetres (6 feet) tall.

Reports from the Morant Bay police are that about 12:30 p.m. Bonner was last seen leaving for Yallahs in the parish wearing a red merino, red shorts and black slippers. He has not been heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Otis Bonner is being asked to contact the Morant Bay police at 982-2233, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

St Thomas man the first murder for 2015


A man was shot fatally in the head yesterday morning in Coney Island, Bath, St Thomas, as he stood among a group gambling, THE WEEKEND STAR has learnt. Dead is 40-year-old Leroy Laing, a labourer, of Ginger Hall in the parish.

His death marks the first murder committed in the parish in 2015. Reports are that about 2 a.m. yesterday, Laing was in the company of others when two men approached.

THE WEEKEND STAR gathered that one of the men pulled a firearm and shot Laing in the head before making their escape.

The St Thomas police said investigations are ongoing.

No motive has been established for the killing.

Don’t eat them! Authorities warn against mongoose consumption


The Ministry of Health is discouraging human consumption of mongoose meat following reports that the rodent is being consumed in some parishes.

Dr Linnette Peters, the head of veterinary public health in the ministry, recently issued a public warning during a television interview, that people who eat this meat do so at their own risk.

Neville Graham, director of communications in the ministry, explained that, “Dr Peters issued an advisory that we want to be careful about eating mongoose meat because we don’t have any testing regime for it. It is not one of the meats that we test, therefore we run the risk of contracting any pathogens that may be transferred”.

There have been reports of the consumption of the meat in St Thomas, Portland and Manchester.