Letter of the Day | I remain committed to Port Royal
The Editor, Sir:
Your Editorial of Tuesday, January 9 rightly bemoaned the delay in the development of Port Royal into the first class heritage tourism attraction it has the potential to be but quite mistakenly took me, as the elected Parliamentary Representative, to task for what you perceive to be a failure to keep the town clean and its buildings in pristine condition.
During my tenure as Member of Parliament (MP) for East Kingston and Port Royal since 1997 I have devoted hundreds of thousands of dollars of constituency development funding available to me for upgrading of the physical infrastructure of the town of Port Royal to include road repairs, provision of water, construction of sidewalks, cleaning of drains, building of bathroom facilities, maintenance of verges and parks.
Some years ago I made representation and received the support of the National Housing Trust to provide a major face lift for Port Royal including the painting of buildings in the town. Among the many infrastructure projects I have spearheaded was the construction of a post office. I also lobbied stakeholders and saw to the refurbishing of the Port Royal police station. In 2007 I supported the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism for a full upgrade of the Old Naval Hospital including the construction of a multimedia centre as well as the improvement of the Maritime Museum and Fort Charles. Some years ago the entire electricity grid of the town was fully upgraded under my leadership.
As MP I collaborated with the then Caribbean Maritime Institute in the upgrading and refurbishing of the Old Admiralty houses which now provide residential accommodation for students of the Caribbean Maritime University. Indeed, Port Royal is fast becoming a University Town.
Motivated and committed
The citizens of Port Royal are motivated and committed to keeping their community clean. They practise proper sanitation and solid waste disposal. However, they have not always received the support of the state agencies which have the statutory responsibility, mandate and resources (including the taxes paid by the residents of Port Royal) necessary to achieve this. Especially in recent times, the National Solid Waste Management Authority for example, has been less than efficient and far from effective in collecting garbage in the community on a timely basis.
The citizens of Port Royal and I as their representative remain entirely convinced of the enormous long-term economic and social potential of Port Royal and are wholly committed to the improvement of its physical environment in the short term. We will redouble our efforts to engage the relevant state agencies, private sector and non-governmental organisations in the collaborative framework that is required to make our community a model of which we can all be perpetually proud
In this context, a major physical improvement project for the constituency is being planned for the next Labour Day later this year. This will include a face lift for Port Royal. I invite the Gleaner and your editorial writer to support this vital and necessary project as we strive to improve our communities and our beloved country for the sake of our people and for generations to come.
Phillip Paulwell, CD
Member of Parliament
East Kingston and Port Royal