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McKenzie tells citizens upset about bad roads to demonstrate responsibly

Saturday, November 11, 2017

SAVANNA-LA-MAR , Westmoreland — Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie says while he is not against people demonstrating, such actions must be carried out in a responsible manner.

“I understand that persons are hurting, motor vehicles are going through some rough times, we understand that the rains continue to fall, but I want to say... that we are not against people demonstrating for better roads or whatever you feel, [it] is your right to demonstrate, but do it in a way that does not dislocate or create problems, because when you burn the tyres and do all the other things, the cost to repair the road was a million dollars before — after you have finished demonstrating it is going to cost much more than the million dollars,” the minister said.

He was speaking on Wednesday during a Ministry of Local Government and Community Development town hall meeting at the Sean Lavery Faith Hall in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland. The meeting was held in partnership with the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation and the Social Development Commission.

In recent days there have been a number of demonstrations across the island, including in the parishes of St James, Clarendon and St Thomas, about the poor state of the road network.

“I can only say to all of you that you have to demonstrate some level of understanding, because when announcements are made for things to be done, it can't happen overnight. It can't happen,” McKenzie stressed, adding that, as a matter of policy, he had told municipal corporations that it would be pointless to spend scarce dollars to put marl on roads for rain to wash it away shortly afterwards.

— Anthony Lewis

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