Councillor raps Gov’t for ‘treating municipal reps like yard bwoys’ Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

A councillor in the Clarendon Municipal Corporation has lambasted the Government for treating his colleagues island-wide like “some little yard bwoy to Central Government”, by remaining silent on whether Local Government Elections will be delayed once more.

Councillor for the York Town Division, the People’s National Party (PNP) Uphell Purcell, held nothing back at the recent municipal meeting, by slamming the Government for essentially showing scant regard to parish councillors, who he stated were elected by the people.

The local polls were last held in 2016, but have been pushed back since then, largely due to COVID-19 in 2021 and 2022.

The polls were expected to be held by the end of February this year, but it appears that the date will be missed, with another pushback now highly likely, due to the timeframe for staging the elections by the end of the month being supposedly too short.

Further, the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) has said no funds were allocated to prepare for the Local Government Elections.

Purcell rapped the Government on Thursday for having “no respect” in terms of informing councillors of a likely delay to the elections once more.

“Right up ’till now the Honourable Andrew Holness-led Government has not said to us as a local government authority, ‘Look, is February now, and we gonna postpone it for a further six months’. Nothing!” said Purcell adamantly.

“So, we are out there like some little yard bwoy to Central Government! We are no yard bwoy!” Purcell thundered.

“We are representative of the people, and we were voted inside these chambers in the country to represent the people,” he reminded.

PNP Councillor for the Hayes Division and former May Pen Mayor, Scean Barnswell, questioned the rationale behind the possible delay of the local polls beyond this month.

Scean Barnswell

He aired his concerns to May Pen Mayor and Chairman of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation, Winston Maragh, on Thursday.

“Mr Chairman, when we look at the whole Local Governance thing, I believe, chairman, that the numbers (factor), in terms of the majority in the Houses of Parliament, is playing around with Local Government and not abiding by what is in the Act, by not having the Local Government Elections in February,” suggested Barnswell.

He then questioned: “… What is the reason for further extension (of the delay)?

“Chairman, I think we deserve more as councillors, to know what is happening,” he concluded.

With the 2022-2023 parliamentary year ending, it is yet to be seen whether Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, will bring a resolution to Parliament before the end of the month to push back the long overdue municipal elections.

The ceremonial opening of Parliament for 2023-2024 is scheduled for Tuesday.