Former MoBay mayor defends handling of squatters
Charles Sinclair, former Mayor of Montego Bay, said during a national debate between the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP) that the JLP party did much between 2007 and 2012 to regularise informal settlements in the second city.
While acknowledging that informal settlement in Montego Bay is emblematic of a failure of the local authorities, Sinclair said that at least three squatter communities were regularised when the JLP controlled the council.
"What we have seen is no further improvement in the communities of Montego Bay," Sinclair said. He said that since the PNP took over in 2012, "what we have seen in the downtown area is mass disorder" and high criminal activities. However, Angela Brown Burke of the PNP accused Sinclair of seeking cheap political points. She said that although the parish council may have played a role, the regularisation of squatter communities in Montego Bay was done under Operation Pride, a central government programme. She also said that it is the National Security Ministry that is chiefly responsible for anti-crime activities.
The debates were held at the Creative Production Training Centre in Kingston last night.