Stop setting up businesses in residential areas — PM

Saturday, October 20, 2018

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GRANVILLE, Trelawny — Prime Minister Andrew Holness is calling on residents to put a halt to the commercialisation and industrialisation of residential areas, including housing schemes.

“We must maintain the residential areas and live in an orderly fashion… Some people will not agree with it, but you know what? It is time that someone stands up and challenge these negative social norms that has held us back for a long time,” Prime Minister Holness said.

He was speaking on Wednesday at the handing-over ceremony for keys to 58 detached two-bedroom units constructed by the National Housing Trust in Castlewood, Granville, Trelawny. The development also includes 25 service lots and a commercial lot.

Holness noted that in far too many communities, people are setting up their businesses, oblivious to the inconvenience being caused to other residents.

“Too often I have seen communities with lovely homes like this (Castlewood Housing Scheme), but all of a sudden you have a bar, you have garage, you have beauty salon, you have supermarkets, you have block making; and I have seen cases where people even come and set up funeral parlours,” he decried.

“I see people driving big tractor and park up. You know what I am talking about, and you are afraid to even say anything about it, even though it is such a great inconvenience to you, because the notion is 'man haffi live'. So you don't have to live too? You never pay the same money to enjoy your property in comfort? But we know how it is [with] the Jamaican psyche, nobody not going to say anything,” Holness continued.

He, however, warned that whenever residents refuse to speak out against these atrocities, the disorderly conduct will be perpetuated in the area.

“But when everybody remain quiet, the chaka-chaka behaviour continues, and once that is allowed, how do you stop somebody from setting up a gambling house? How do you stop criminals from coming and taking over? And before you know it, the community that you invested in is no longer the community in which you want to live — total breakdown, and it's not just a breakdown in the community, it's a breakdown in the family.

“How do you start to control your children when other people who have a different perspective on life are in your community influencing them to do wrongs?” the prime minister asked.

“Very soon the community is taken over by somebody who demonstrates leadership skills and anoints himself a don, and then I have a real problem where I have to create a zone of special operations to address it,” he continued.

Holness called on the local authorities to play “a critical role to ensure that the various town and country regulations about how communities are maintained”, are enforced.

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