Anti-litter fines to increase — McKenzieWednesday, April 27, 2016
Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie has warned that the fines for littering are soon to be increased, taking them from the current $2000 to an amount that "hurts in the pocket".
Speaking at a town hall meeting at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre last Thursday, McKenzie said the review was being undertaken because the current fine structure was not proving to be a deterrent to those who dispose of garbage in public places, especially those dumping commercial waste.
"The present fine for littering is being reviewed, and the legal team in the ministry has made a submission as to (an) increase, [and] as to what [amount] they are proposing, because I believe that the fines should hurt where it matters most, and that is in the pocket," McKenzie said.
In addition to increasing fines, the Government will be strengthening the enforcement arm of parish councils by increasing the number of municipal police officers islandwide, according to the minister.
Thursday’s town hall meeting served as the launch for the first leg of the national clean-up campaign, occasioned by the threat of the Zika virus which is transmitted primarily by mosquitoes. McKenzie heads the inter-ministerial, multi-agency, national task force, appointed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to lead the assault against the vector. St James will serve as the pilot of the campaign and will determine how the programme is rolled out in other parishes.
"I want to urge you: Support this initiative; it is in the best interest of Jamaica. Investors don’t want to come to a (dirty) country," McKenzie appealed.
The national campaign is a joint effort between the ministries of Local Government and Community Development, and Health, the Social Development Commission, National Works Agency (NWA), Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force – which is supervising the sensitisation and clean-up operations.
Funding for the project is being provided by Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme, the Tourism Enhancement Fund and the NWA. The programme will be taken to Portland next.
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