Westmoreland community calls out for more development

October 09, 2018
Even with a cell tower, Petersville residents say they have terrible reception.

The community of Petersville in Westmoreland has a most urgent need for strategic community investment and development.

"If you look around [it] is mostly a lot of shops you see in the community, because people are trying to survive and to make a living," Claudette Wynter told the WESTERN STAR during a recent visit to the rural district.

She explained that there are not many job opportunities in the community, forcing many persons to travel or relocate to earn a decent income.

"We also have lots of masons and fishermen, but they need to be certified. They need some more training on top of what they already know, and so a sort of school for some skills training for the younger folks is needed," said Wynter. "The Westmoreland House Craft Training Centre used to operate in the area, but that has been closed down for more than five years. We [do] not even have a community centre that could have continued the skills training."

Sandals, in addition to a few hardware stores and supermarkets in Whitehouse, was praised for employing a number of persons from the area, but residents say more needs to be done.

The community was also said to be plagued by poor cell phone reception despite a cell tower being present in the area.

"Digicel phone system not working and LIME is the same, and there is no Internet connection in the area," said Angella Campbell. "So you see like me, who is a nurse in the area, it is very challenging because there are times you have important calls to make and receive and nothing goes through. You have to be finding a good spot and call all six times before a call go through."

The people noted that the community is also hoping for the reopening of the postal agency that was shut down a few years ago. They argued that they have to travel to Whitehouse to get mail and this is a challenge for senior citizens.

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