BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau email@example.com
MONTEGO BAY, St James - FORMER Montego Bay Mayor Cecil Donaldson has called on Government to provide a state-of-the-art public bathing beach along a section of the Rose Hall to Greenwood coastline.
"I would like to see the Government use some of the TEF (Tourism Enhancement Fund) to build an elegant beach for the thousands of citizens who live in that general area. There is enough land there to do it," he argued.
He said such a facility should have bathrooms, sanitary conveniences and a parking area with proper security.
According to Donaldson, thousands of residents in communities such as Rose Vale, Lilliput, Spot Valley, Rhyne Park, Barrett Town, and Barrett Hall have to travel long distances if they are to access a "proper beach".
" I don't believe in freeness so I would expect the residents to be charged a fee........so I really hope that Minister (of Tourism and Entertainment) Wykeham McNeill would treat that as a priority," said Donaldson, who was mayor of Montego Bay from 1966 to 1969 and 1975 to 1981, and also a councillor for 25 years. He was elected on the People's National Party (PNP's) ticket.
McNeill could not be reached yesterday for a comment, but former tourism minister Ed Bartlett told the Observer West that he fully supports the call made by the former mayor.
"I agree with him. The more than 15,000 people living on the eastern side of St James which has seen exponential growth over the last 20 years should have access to a proper beach," said Bartlett, who is also the member of Parliament for the area.
He argued that the Success Fisherman's Beach in the Rose Hall area would be the ideal location to create the facility.
Bartlett had long proposed that the Success Breach should be developed in an artisan village outfitted with a multi-recreational and entertainment complex showcasing local artisans, which would be available to stage major entertainment events.
Yesterday he told the Observer West that such a village could embrace a state-of-the-art beach facility.