Having promised to take steps to make the Portmore Municipality Jamaica’s fifteenth parish, the Government has started the official process to make it happen.
On Tuesday November 3, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, tabled a Motion in the House of Representatives to empower Parliament to consider and report on this important proposal. The Motion calls for a Joint Select Committee to be formed to deliberate on the benefits of making Portmore a parish, and for that Joint Select Committee to have the authority to invite submissions from any stakeholders considered relevant to the process.
A Joint Select Committee is comprised of Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The Local Government and Rural Development Minister says the size and special features of Portmore make it suitable to be a parish. “This is the largest dormitory community in the Caribbean, with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants. Apart from the sheer numbers of people who live there, the space contains attractions, emerging social amenities and a wide variety of businesses, educational and religious institutions that give it a special sense of identity. That is why you hear terms like “Sunshine City” when Portmore is mentioned.
“In campaigning for a renewed mandate earlier this year, this Administration formally promised the people through our party’s Manifesto that given all the unique features of Portmore, and our desire to structure its development in a sustainable way that will benefit all its residents, that we will make it a parish. Two months after the elections, we have begun the process of delivering on this commitment.”
The Local Government and Rural Development Minister said he has no doubt that the people of Portmore are eagerly anticipating this development. “There have been discussions about doing something special for Portmore for many years, even before it was made a Municipality in 2003. I lived in Portmore for many years, and I can attest to the fact that the residents see themselves in a special way, have a special sense of belonging to the area, and are looking forward to this form of civic, cultural and economic development.”