Bartlett Town?

Bartlett Town?

JLP councillor wants Barrett Town in St James East Central to be named in honour of MP

JLP councillor wants Barrett Town in St James East Central to be named in honour of MP

Thursday, August 13, 2020

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BARRETT TOWN, St James -Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councillor for the Rose Hall Division Anthony Murray says he will move a resolution in the St James Municipal Corporation to rename the Barrett Town community in St James, in honour of Member of Parliament for St James East Central and Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

“At the most convenient time we are going to be moving a resolution to rename the community of Barrett Town in honour of our Member of Parliament and tourism minister. We are now out on our annual recess, so after council is back in session, we are going to move that resolution,” Murray stressed.

Over the last five years, more than $360 million has been spent by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) on projects to transform Barrett Town, which was once the stomping ground of the infamous Ski Mask gang.

The projects include the replacing of zinc fences with white fencing; construction of playing field with new multi- purpose courts fitted with floodlights; the paving of roadways, construction of a resource centre, work on improved water supply system and the creation of a new park and a skating rink.

Murray argued that with the improved aesthetics and the reimagining of the community, a name change in honour of Bartlett is adding “the icing to the cake”.

“It has been something that we were considering some time ago, but I think it is befitting because we want to rebrand the entire community. The name that the community has become accustomed to, has been somewhat damaged, so people refer to Barrett Town as a bad, violent place, and we want to create a brand new image for the community coming after the work that was done,” Murray argued.

He was speaking to the Jamaica Observer West following Friday's tour of several projects in the community by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and other stakeholders.

Among them the official opening of the infrastructure and fencing project at the entrance road leading to Barrett Town, which was funded by the World Bank, as well as the handing over and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Barrett Town Primary, formerly the Barrett Town All-Age School; both projects implemented under the JSIF Integrated Community Development Project.

The prime minister said he will leave the discussion about the renaming of Barrett Town to the community members.

“Indeed when I stepped on the stage and I saw the sign, I literally read Bartlett Town and I took a second look and I said, 'No, no, no it's Barrett Town, but I leave that discussion between you [community members] and him [Bartlett] to work that out. But, I want to thank your Member of Parliament, he is dedicated, he is committed. Ed [Bartlett] is someone who genuinely loves the people, and he talks about his projects and he talks about especially his education fund,” said Holness at the Barrett Town Primary School function.

Ahead that ceremony, a sign at the entrance to the community was unveiled.

Bartlett, who has been the Member of Parliament for the area since 2002, reflected that almost two decades ago when he walked into Barrett Town and saw some young ladies sitting idly on a wall, the idea was born to transform the community.

“Twenty years ago when I came to this community I met some young ladies sitting on a wall and I said to them, 'Get off the wall' and those girls came off the wall and have not been back. And at that moment, I made a commitment that I would transform Barrett Town, actually that we would change it into Bartlett Town and everybody had a good laugh about it. And, I believe that Barrett Town today is the most complete social and economic-developed community anywhere in Jamaica, and I really want to say thanks to the EU [European Union], the World Bank and JSIF and the vision of a prime minister who understands what it is to build communities.”

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