Newly minted Westmoreland Western MP outlines plans for Negril

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Newly minted Westmoreland Western MP outlines plans for Negril

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, October 01, 2020

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NEGRIL, Westmoreland -“You have a new Member of Parliament [MP] who cares and listens,” is the commitment given to members of the Rotary Club of Negril by newly minted MP for Westmoreland Western, Morland Wilson, as he outlined a slew of priority projects that he will be pursuing during his tenure, in his first official public appearance as a parliamentarian.

“You have a new MP now who listens and who cares. So, let's see how we can work together and make Negril into somewhere that we are proud of because right now I know that we are not very elated with the state of Negril,” Wilson told the Rotarians.

Wilson, who won the seat on the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP's) ticket, was a surprise Pwinner in the September 3 General Election, defeating People's National Party Vice-President Dr Wykeham McNeill by more votes. Dr McNeill had held the seat for over two decades.

Despite the commitment, Wilson was quick to point out that it will take some time to have a number of issues affecting the resort town of Negril addressed, and projects implemented.

He commended the Rotary Club of Negril for implementing a raft of projects in the area over the years.

One such project is the move to upgrade the Negril Health Centre which is being undertaken at a cost of US$108,000 by the club in conjunction with its Canadian partners and Rotary International.

Additionally, a grant is being sought by the Rotary Club of Negril to equip the facility.

Wilson told the gathering that with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he will be putting the health centre on his priority list.

“For Negril to contribute one-third of the tourism income to Jamaica and for us to have a clinic, especially in a pandemic, that is not 24-hour (in operation), is not in the right direction. We have to have some form of health facility that can support...especially in this climate, it is needed now more than ever,” he argued.

He pointed out that since becoming MP, he has had dialogue with representatives in the ministry of health, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and the CHASE Fund, in an effort to secure additional funding for the further upgrading of the health centre.

Meanwhile, Wilson, who is a big advocate for education, said he is currently putting together a group consisting of past principals, teachers and people who have an interest in Negril, to partner with institutions so as to develop programmes around Career Advancement Programme (CAP), in an effort to address the needs of unattached youths.

In the area of technology, Wilson said he will be focusing on app development, animation, coding and website development.

“So, we need to capitalise on those forefronts of the industry, not just the traditional customer care, doing woodworks and so forth. The economy is evolving and we have to evolve with it or else we are going to get left behind, and no one is going to sorry for us,” he argued.


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