Local Gov't 2016 : Cecil Charlton Park - Mandeville's pride and joy
The total transformation of the Cecil Charlton Park has been an ongoing initiative of the Manchester Parish Council through the Caribbean Local Economic Development project for the past two to three years.
It has brought pride to the citizens of Mandeville, who have longed for its facelift and its recognition as a worthy landmark in the heart of the town.
Persons who THE STAR spoke marvelled at the renovation, noting new seating areas, proper bathroom facilities and a variety shops offering different items.
One businesswoman, who operates in the park, expressed pleasure with the infrastructural development.
"I love what they have done in terms of the upgrading and remodelling of the park. It's good use of tax dollars, but I have problems with the restrictions. I don't like the fact that the park is closed and only open on select days because it makes it bad for business," she said.
"If you get security to monitor the area and allow the free flow of persons then it would be so much better."
She also said she would also love if there was more promotion for the park.
The renovation of the park is being done on a phased basis and two phases have already been completed.
Councillor of Mandeville Jones Oliphant told THE STAR that the park will reach its optimum when the third stage has been completed.
"Next we are moving on to the greens, and it will be enclosed. Some people may complain about the accessibility, but if you do not do the parks like that, it won't be kept at a certain standard. We can't have people just doing as they feel and vandalising the property," he said.
The greens, now populated by men of unsound mind and those who are homeless, will be transformed into a multifunctional area that will be available for special events and civic functions.
Oliphant further mentioned that next in line for further upgrade in the parish is Brooks Park.
"There are plans in place to have it more pedestrian friendly. It's 37 acres of land and some parts have not still not been developed. But there are plans to have it upgraded. The committee is looking to promote health and wellness, and plans to build a centre which caters to lifestyle needs are in the pipeline."
Brooks Park houses a multifunctional stage area and other amenities fit for event production. It is also used to host a number of events in the area. It was also deemed the first 'peace park' in the region about two years ago.