Gov’t push to make Portmore a parish

November 04, 2020
A view of Portmore Mall, located in the heart of the Sunshine City.
A view of Portmore Mall, located in the heart of the Sunshine City.

South Central St Catherine Member of Parliament Dr Andrew Wheatley will chair a joint select committee of Parliament that is being set up to consider a proposed law aimed at making Portmore Jamaica's 15th parish.

The first step to granting parish status to Portmore was taken yesterday with the tabling of a motion in Parliament by Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie.

He said that there are "economic, social and cultural benefits and potential for generating revenue with Portmore becoming a parish".

The committee includes the three members of parliament whose constituencies are in Portmore - Robert Miller, Fitz Jackson and Alando Terrelonge - as well as Delroy Chuck, Marlene Malahoo Forte, Everald Warmington, Homer Davis and Denise Daley. They will sit jointly with a team to be selected by the Senate.

Election manifesto

The Governing Jamaica Labour Party has long championed the push for Portmore to become a parish, and the party made it a commitment in its recent election manifesto.

In 2014, Andrew Holness, who was then the leader of the Opposition, said that "Portmore is too large and too important a population centre. Portmore deserves the consideration to become a parish with its own resources, going through its own council, that it can make its own true development plan."

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica estimates the population of Portmore to be about 182,000 persons. This is comparable to the population of St James (185,697). St Catherine, in which Portmore now falls, has a population of 521,249 persons.

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