Entertainment minister mediating standoff in Westmoreland
Entertainment Minister Olivia Grange has taken steps to avert a crisis in Negril and the wider Westmoreland entertainment landscape.
For years, the promoters of entertainment events in Negril have taken issue with the provisions of the Noise Abatement Act and the actions of the police in enforcing it.
They complain that the police have curtailed most of the entertainment activities in the area.
Grange held a series of consultations with key stakeholders in the entertainment industry in Westmoreland, including promoters and the operators/owners of entertainment venues.
The first was on Tuesday with promoters, owners/operators of venues, and Dr Wykeham McNeill, member of parliament for Westmoreland Western (where Negril is located).
The following day, Grange convened a meeting with the Police High Command, led by Commissioner Dr Carl Williams.
Grange said that after the consultations, there was now "a clearer understanding and appreciation of the concerns of both sides". She was confident that a way would be found to finally get consensus on the difficult issue.
Williams gave a commitment that the police would meet with a wider body of stakeholders in Negril, discuss the matter internally, and then come up with a plan of action to address the concerns.
He expressed confidence that some entertainment activity would be resumed during the Christmas season.
Grange also advised that further consultations are to be held with Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, and the Negril Chamber of Commerce.