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Clarendon’s Safe School Bus Service road-worthy

How the Youth added tremendous value to Local Government month

Recharging aquifers to meet our water needs

Work experience at the PC & working with the Mayor

Tips on reducing your carbon footprint in the fight against Climate Change


Planning’s 12th Man


From Intern to Overseer


Work 3 Experience at the PC Enforcement vs. Adding Value


Being Mayor’s 4 Secretary A Project for Minor Water


Climate Change: Are we coping or adapting?


How the 7 Clarendon PC works for my community

CounciLink Special Local Government Month Edition V O L U M E

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School Bus Service On the Road Clarendon’s a model! On Monday, September 1, 2014 we put our pioneering solution to the long-standing problem of unsafe student commute on the road. It’s driven primarily by rural stage carriage operators who were already in the business of transporting students en masse to school. Only licensed, compliant operators who were willing to operate within a high-standard, regulated system were invited to participate in the Clarendon Safe School Bus Service pilot. Seventeen owners/operators took up the challenge and together are today conveying students in a safe, decent way to and from school. The Clarendon Parish Council could not have imagined that just two months old and with only three pilot schools the Service would have gained numerous fans right across Jamaica, among them highly-placed decision

makers in the local transportation sector, including son of the soil, Minister of Transport, Housing and Works, Dr. The Hon. Omar

The proud fleet of operators including JUTC and rural stage carriage drivers gathers for a photo opportunity with His Worship The Mayor and Transport Authority route inspectors

Davies. So impressed is Minister Davies by the Clarendon Safe School Bus model that he not only wants the parish’s other nineteen high schools to benefit from the service, he wants all school

districts in Jamaica modelling it! So once again Clarendon has people talking and this time it’s for a great reason. Petra-Kene Williams, Communications and Customer Service Manager at the Transport Authority (the Parish Council’s major partner on the project) says Clarendon will soon become the local experts on safe student commute. Kenute Hare, Director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport, Housing and Works went even further, challenging the Chairman of the Clarendon Parish Council, Mayor Scean Barnswell to make Clarendon a ‘Road Safety’ parish. Our parish is being held to very high standards, which should be embraced as it is our ability to successfully coordinate, implement and enforce a project with great national significance that has earned us this position of leadership. Story continues on page 3

Future Planning: The Frankfield Transportation Centre Frankfield is one of six major towns in Clarendon. The small north-western town is developing at quick-fire pace which is good for the local economy, but has created an almost nightmarish situation where traffic control and regulation is concerned. The Clarendon Parish Council has embarked on a strategy to rid the town of traffic congestion which is

crippling the area’s development. To this end, the Parish Council invested heavily in the development of a transportation centre. The idea is to create a parking facility for all public transportation that terminates in the town. The facility will also seek to generate income to fund its strategic development over the Story continues on medium to long term. page 2

Side-on view of the newlyinstalle d barrica des and lifting gates



Featured ! Re-opened ! Did you see us on page P5 of the June 2 edition of the Central Observer and again on page P6 on September 8? Why the Clarendon Parish Council has been featured positively in the national press a number of times this year.

Works Overseer, Rushawn Green poses with the article that brought him and his selfie 15 fleeting seconds of fame

Look who we ran into during a tour of the May Pen Market on June 5! Remember the lunchtime ital chef, Wayne Gentles who gracefully accepted the assistance Jamaica Association of Micro

In May the headlines were about our Homeless Facility at the Clarendon Infirmary and in September the media highlighted our highly appraised Safe School Bus Service pilot project.

financing Limited (JAMFIN) offered him to restart his small business after his cook shop was gutted during the March 27 fire in the May Pen Market? Well, he has reopened in Cook Shop lane in the May Pen Market. The public sanitary convenience which was destroyed in the March fire is now fully operational too. The facility boasts urinals and backup water supply. Users have access to hand-washing stations and toilet paper but must pay the relevant fee to avail themselves of the facility. Ital chef Wayne Gentles peels sweet potatoes for his pot of tasty Ital stew

Planning’s 12th Man

Planning Clerk, Stacy-Ann Messam logs onto the AMANDA database to enter a development plan application.

Interestingly, this is not a who but a what. The Application Management and Data Automation software (AMANDA for short) has been in Clarendon for the past two years tracking and managing development in relation to subdivision, planning and building applications via the worldwide web. Using a unique assigned reference number, AMANDA allows individual applicants to track their applications online. The AMANDA software allows for transparency in the development process; reduces inconsistencies

The asphalted p a r k i n g facility, which offers users nearly 2600 sq. m. of parking space.


Presently, the area is properly secured with controlled accessed points and a ticket booth for the park attendant who collects user fees on the Council’s behalf. With the police’s assistance, the Parish Council and the Councillor for the area, continues to encourage the transport operators to make full use of

and irons out bottlenecks in task assignment among various users. Clarendon continues to boast consistent use and application of the software which allows our clients the convenience of tracking their applications on-line; applications are being processed more quickly and efficiently; accountability has been enhanced; processing time among referral agencies has been reduced and most importantly a greater level of compliance has been fostered among developers and other land development and construction professionals. Together with Clarendon’s Develthe facility. The full potential of the facility however will only be realized upon completion. The finished project will include retrofitted container buildings to house commercial shops, a shed to provide shelter for commuters and a public sanitary convenience. -Davian Byfield , Building Officer

opment Application Help Desk, located in the Municipal Building’s lobby, the Council is poised to improve customer service by troubleshooting problems and providing guidance about services while supporting customers through various channels. Clarendon: improving development with real time approaches while maintaining proper planning for the future. -Nickala Thompson , Senior Planner

Get this Fact! The newly built Frankfield Transportation Centre is approximately 2597 square metres in size making it the largest transportation centre located outside of the capital town, May Pen. The May Pen Main bus park is the parish’s largest transportation centre.






...On the Road (Cont’d) Denbigh High School students arrives at n e w transportati on centre

But just how did we do it?  The project was undertaken with the blessing and full support of the Council.  The Parish Council engaged all stakeholders and experts who held an interest in safe student

commute right from the start.

We immediately sought and easily won buy-in and endorsement for the project.

The Parish Council maintained its position as the nexus of the project right throughout

the process. The Clarendon Parish Council remained determined to see the project through despite various challenges since we held firm to the vision of having local students commute in a safe and dignified manner. In a matter of months four more high

schools will begin benefitting from the Parish Council’s commitment to the Clarendon Safe School Bus Service. Come January 2015 Bustamante, Vere Technical, Kemps Hill and Garvey Maceo High schools will join Glenmuir, Denbigh and Foga Road High Schools as second leg beneficiaries of the Service. The best practices garnered from the current experience will make this lap of the journey easier. But it will not be any less exciting for now the mustard seed of an idea which was thrown out at an ordinary Fire, Safety and Disaster Committee meeting has grown exponentially and is now being sewn right across our parish and quite possibly Jamaica.

-Ramona Lawson, Community


“The mustard seed of an idea has grown exponentially and is now being sewn right across Jamaica.”

Programmes Coordinator

Work Experience at the PC Kedesha Gibbs, JEEP Worker

I have been working at the Clarendon Parish Council for the past two months through the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) offered by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. My experience has been phenomenal! I have gained knowledge about my parish, the Council and by extension local governance. I have been assigned to work with the Community Programmes Coordinator dealing with public relations matters and also to assist in the Planning Department dealing with building application approvals and advertisement. But I have also been exposed to other Council services such as burial and places of amusement permit applications. This opportunity has made me more proficient in multi-tasking since both departments require that a number of activities be executed simultaneously in order to complete a single task. What amazes me though, is that being a part of the Planning department, I am being taught every little thing. Staff members ensure that tasks are done perfectly and punctually and even though I am working here temporarily I am very much treated equally.

From Intern to Overseer by Rushawn Green

I began my journey at the Clarendon Parish Council as a terrified, unsure intern back in 2010. I was an undergraduate student of Urban and Regional Planning at UTECH and the internship was a course prerequisite. The Council’s former

Senior Planner, Mr. Rowhan Blake was my supervisor. Four years on and it has been a pretty fulfilling experience at the Council, so far. No, my internship has not lasted all this time; I am proud to say that I was taken on as a full-time employee of the Council last year. Today I work as a Works Overseer with experience in both the Roads and Works and Planning Departments, which is just great

Ms. Gibbs checking the layout of the Planning Department’s new brochure which is one of four published for the Parish Council’s public education campaign in November.

for gaining all-round experience in Urban Planning since Roads and Works sees to the technical aspect of development while Planning caters to the legislative aspect. I am working, learning, growing and forming invaluable bonds with the clients I serve as well as with stalwart employees of the Council. But more than this, I am actively contributing to the development of my parish. I have also seen where my former supervisor and mentor

is now Secretary/Manager of the Council and he too started out as a Works Overseer. This is a big motivator and proof that the local authority is a great place to work as one day I could be making the decisions that shapes the built environment of my parish.


Enforcement vs. Adding Value


by Georgina Venson, Commercial Services Manager

Municipal police, accompanies a market clerk, during fee collection in the May Pen Municipal Market.

“Value and enforcement applied in tandem can be regarded as the

Would street vending be a thing of the past if Municipal markets had the features of a 5 star facility? If the public sanitary conveniences ran by the Clarendon Parish Council had state of the art fixtures, hands free soap dispensers, hot and cold water, would citizens utilize them and refrain from urinating in public? Should the transportation centres in Clarendon be located in ‘walking distance’ and were accessible to both transport operators and passengers would they flock to them? The answer to all the above is a resounding NO! The truth is enforcement cannot be avoided. It is a tool which ensures that the Clarendon Parish Council’s commercial entities realize optimum utilization thereby resulting in public order and

magic formula

Being Mayor’s Secretary

which keeps the wheels of Commercial Services turning” As she u su a lly does twice per week M s . Ormsby goes over the Mayor’s diary with H i Worship


targeted revenue generation. This is not to downplay the importance of providing value to all potential end users, however. As a matter of fact applying both value and enforcement in tandem can be regarded as the magic formula which keeps the wheels of Commercial Services turning. The all important aim is to ensure that both are not only present but are also balanced. But just how can the Council achieve this? Well, in a perfect world all commercial entities would start off as a blank slate allowing all stakeholder groups to become involved in the planning process. Structures would be created based on extensive market research guided by the perceived needs of the target group(s) and then the service would be aligned with the value proposition

being offered by the Council. In this way the Council’s income-generating facilities, that is, markets, transportation centres, cemeteries and public sanitary conveniences would be established, organized and ran according to feedback from user groups which would readily encourage buy-in. In this way commercial entities would be providing maximum value to consumers with the need only for periodic enforcement activities just to maintain the desired standard. Though perfect conditions are only found in fairytales, the Commercial Services arm of the Clarendon Parish Council remains committed to delivering the best possible value to consumers by continuously improving on service delivery.

by Tissona Ormsby

People have often asked “So, what’s it like working for the Mayor? Is it exciting? Do you travel a lot?” Interestingly, I always try to redirect the conversation, but their curiosity often persists and I succumb to their questions. This is one such occasion. Working in the Mayor’s office requires a great deal of commitment and comes with having an enormous (infinite perhaps?) amount of patience and maintaining professionalism at all times. I can proudly say that discipline has never been an issue for me, so it was only natural that I lost no time in catching on to the Council’s way of doing things. One thing I have still not mastered however is differentiating between Councillors Hayles and Shirley; always calling one the other. In fact, just recently it happened again (laugh). I’ll be honest. It’s often demanding and sometimes petrifying being the first point of contact for persons who demand to see or speak with the Mayor, but in the last two years I have become a Counsellor, Teacher, Supervisor and Mentor because citizens look to my office for all the answers (yes - some have even called and asked for legal advice so I guess that should also make me a lawyer, right?). Now I’ve never been lucky enough to score a trip to Uganda or Nigeria, Beijing or Italy, but I don’t mind collecting the little souvenirs that make their way to my desk when the Mayor returns from his sojourns that take him to places I can only dream of. All in all, my job has taught me to be open-minded and to be willing to adapt to changes because they will happen. I really don’t know where I’d be right now if I had never taken this opportunity but what I can say is that it has been a rewarding experience being the Mayor’s Secretary.







Under the Parochial Road Fund for the quarter JulySeptember 2014 the Clarendon Parish Council spent nearly thirty-eight million Jamaican dollars on parish. Parish road rehabilitation and an Overtime this Council extensive drain cleaning would recharge our programme in the month contractors aquifers causing us of August. undertaking to have large Five roadways were a drain volumes of the addressed in the month of construction p r e c i o u s July including Coolie Town commodity in our Road (Palmers Cross), project u n d e r g r o u n d Rose Avenue (Toll Gate), reserves, McKinson Hill t h u s Road (Ritchie’s), Road/Bog e n a b l i n g “What the Lot Hole (Aenon us to and effectively Parish Council T o w n ) Bennett Street weather p e r i o d s can look at are (Denbigh). In September o f ways o f repairs were drought carried out on which are channeling our the Salt River becoming longer and more rainwater into Road (Hayes), severe. Bamboo Line Such a venture would not u n d e r g r o u n d (Crofts Hill), only require expert Bucknor Road technical guidance, but it aquifers” (May Pen will not come cheap. But say N o r t h ) , Hayesfield an organisation like the Planning Institute of Jamaica should Second Street (Race be able to seek funding from its Course) and LongGridge partner agencies overseas to Lane (May Pen West). undertake such a project on our While throughout the month of August critical behalf. drain cleaning work was by Councillor Winston Maragh, undertaken across all Rocky Point Division twenty two divisions.

A Project for Minor Water Every year, while other countries nearer to the North and South Poles suffer from severe winter storms with snow and frozen rain, we suffer from a lack of adequate rainfall. Local Authorities can play an important role in improving our water resources and sparing us from the effects of extenuated d r o u g h t conditions as we have experienced in recent times. What the Parish Council can look at are ways of channelling our rainwater, whenever we do have rain, into underground aquifers. Millions of gallons of precious water literally goes down the drain during rainy seasons each year. Why not trap the run-off or channel our drains and gullies into large soak-away pits? These should be created around or near deep-well pumping systems, or more importantly the Parish Council’s minor water-supply systems in the elevated areas of the

C o u N t i n g k m s

In its pursuit of excellent customer service delivery, i m p r o v e d professionalism and an organised and well administered Council, the CPC has not only sat out to develop a Corporate Plan to outline and espouse its new mission, vision and service standards but also to distinguish itself among all other local authorities and become more recognisable among its faithful clients and customers. It has successfully begun that process by making its unique mark which depicts Clarendon and the Clarendon Parish Council like no other local authority or parish. The CPC now boasts a brand-new logo which illustrates the parish’s multi-sectoral exploits in the manufacturing and agricultural industries amidst its verdant beauty and rich architectural heritage!

Free GSAT classes for students in Milk River Councillor Carlton Bailey is proud of the GSAT Tutoring program that has started with his support in his Milk River division. Some 60 students are already benefitting. They begun attending the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) classes free of cost at the Rest

Primary School on Saturday, October 18. GSAT hopefuls from Gravel Hill, Milk River, Gimme-me Bit and Rest were among the class. The students receive a complimentary lunch after classes and have expressed appreciation for the programme. Councillor Bailey says there has been


overwhelming feedback an d p arents h ave welcomed the idea as many of them cannot afford to pay for extra lessons. The classes will continue up until GSAT exams in March. Four Beneficiaries of the Milk teachers are providing River division’s free GSAT classes program. the lessons.



1 walk-in customer asks... We shared an interesting conversation with Winston Harris who came to the Council wanting to learn more about what the PC does and whether it held any implications for the small street-side fruit stall he was hoping to set up in May Pen. Mr. Harris explained that he held a Food Handler’s permit and identified the area in the vicinity of the Mother’s Patty company along Main Street as the ideal spot to place his table. He insisted that his would be a unique service since he will be delivering his peeled, packaged

An illustration of how illegal vending is an ad hoc and inconveniencing use of the public thoroughfare

“Climate c h a n g e adaptation starts with the individual and is


transposed to t

Fisherman in Rocky Point moors his boat after hauling in a catch




products directly to his customers. Why would the PC take an interest in Mr. Harris and his fruit vending business? Well, for starters he intends to offer a foodrelated service to the public and two, he is contemplating doing so in a busy public space. The Clarendon Parish Council’s primary function is that of regulator. It is the PC’s responsibility to ensure that the built and commercial environments are developed and used in an orderly manner such that no one individual in

utilising these spaces for his own benefit prevents another from equal access and enjoyment. It is for this reason the Council does not designate public streets as vending areas as this often inconveniences pedestrians, motorists and business operators. In addition Mr. Harris would have to ensure that his fruits are safe for consumption by putting in place amenities such as separate fruit and handwashing stations as well as a proper waste disposal system.

Climate Change: Are we coping or adapting? Believe it or not, climate change is happening! This year, Clarendon suffered one of the most severe droughts on record and with climate change unlikely to abate anytime soon, we should brace ourselves for more periods of the warmer-than-usual temperatures we have been experiencing in recent times. In addition, sea level rise, more frequent and extreme weather events such as hurricanes and floods should also be anticipated. This will not only impact our food security, health,


marine and coastal livelihoods negatively but it will also have a significant adverse effect on trade. It is important that as a parish we reduce our vulnerability to these hazards by building adaptive capacity and increasing resilience. We can mitigate against the effects associated with climate change in the following ways: 1. Being energy smart and reducing our carbon foot-print principally by reducing emissions from our motor vehicles 2. Utilizing better waste management systems, that is, recy-

cling household waste rather than burning it 3. Keeping drains clear to reduce flooding 4. Planting more trees and exploiting rain water harvesting These measures, if practiced consistently, will help to reduce our vulnerability to the effects of climate change. It is a fact that climate change adaptation starts with the individual and is then transposed to the community by constantly engaging in resilient lifestyle practices and spreading the word. Be climate change smart: the time to act is now! by Eleanor Coombs, Parish Disaster Coordinator







How the Clarendon PC works for my community Glenmui r High School’s debate team

by organizing celebrations for both citizens and passers-by. The civic holidays and cultural Council must be commended observances such as Heroes’ Day, because the signs make the Ms. Lou Day among others. community easier to traverse which is evidence that the Council holds These activities are crucial in road safety as paramount on its fostering national and civic pride. agenda.” - Clarendon College Equally, the high school community of May Pen, has

The following are excerpts form the winning essays Glenmuir, Knox, Clarendon College and Central High schools wrote on their way to the play-off round of the Inaugural CPC All Clarendon High Schools Debate Competition. “The Council provides services which affords economic and social benefits to citizens. It involves the youth and the wider community

also been benefitting from the actions of the Council. Students on their daily commute benefit from a regulated system that ensures their safety.” - Glenmuir High “My community resembles a perfectly decorated scrapbook as signs are placed at the entrance of each small road. This is important as it acts as a visual directory for

Debating Central Accentuate the positives; eliminate the negatives and strive for excellence. It has been a while since Central High School has participated in a debating competition so we took on the responsibility to strive to become a part of the Clarendon Parish Council All High Schools Debating Competition. We entered with the hope of inspiring the younger batch of students to open their minds and dream and then to chase those dreams. We view the debate competition as another way of learning and growing-whatever the result. We have become a better team because we have dedicated our time and effort, ventured out of our comfort zone and competed hard to surpass our previous attempts at Central debating so as to put High our school on the School’s map . As a team we are guided by the triumphan philosophy whatever t debate we conceive we can team achieve.

“The Clarendon Parish Council stands as a representative for Clarendonians. They act as an intermediary between the citizens of Clarendon and the wider society, enabling a more efficient form of communication. Issues with the communities are quickly highlighted and fixed enabling better living conditions within the parish.” - Central High


to the Coun-

cil’s website it has been instrumental in developing,


maintaining structure facilities while needs




and of



catering of

parish to



through its aid to the poor.




where the Council carried out repair work at the Anderson’s Place of Safety for young wards of the state.” - Knox College

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and it is equally true that the way into young people’s minds is through social media. The Clarendon Parish Council has not only acknowledged this profound truth, but has also exploited its ingrained benefits by utilizing social media in electing the 2014 Youth Mayor. This method of selection affords the general public the opportunity to give their opinion of who is most qualified and competent for this coveted title. It also provides a level of transparency and gives a public manifestation of the fairness of the process. I, as a Mayoral Hopeful, am pleased to know that the work I put into campaigning does not go to waste after the election is complete, but it will be far reaching as it provides valuable publicity for the Council. -Xaundre Mohansingh, Youth Councillor-Race Course Division

On Friday, October 10, 2014 the Clarendon Parish Council partnered with the Clarendon Health department to train some fifty-six persons as community workers/peer educators in Clarendon's response to the Chikungunya outbreak. The community workers are spending eight weeks in the field going from house to house in the various divisions educating their neighbours on Chik-V preventative measures. The program was spearheaded and funded by the Parish Council. Secretary/Manager


Blake accepts a donation of food and personal care items from Clarendon Leo Club member Ms. Karel Green on behalf





Supervision's Collection Drive for Infirmaries. The drive is


still on, so please do visit the Parish Council and make your drop in the barrel today!

The students of Salt Savannah and Portland Cottage primary schools enjoyed playing market during the CPC’s visit to the SouthEast Clarendon schools in May. The communities had just benefitted from the opening of a multi-million dollar fish market in neighbouring Rocky Point and the Commercial Services team wanted to teach the young constituents some all-important market rules by having them re-enact the Dos and Don’ts of a typical market scene. The students did a fabulous acting job but more awesome is the story behind the costumes they wore. Their three little pink aprons were products of the Clarendon Infirmary’s Activity Room, which facilitates day-time recreational therapy activities such as sewing and crocheting for residents .

How the CPC made a friend for every day of the year in just one day. Easily, by making the most popular group of users on Facebook-young, hip and inthe-know teenagers-recruit friends to our FB page. But there was a trade off for the free PR work. The seven teens had to use Facebook in their campaign to become the parish’s Youth Mayor for 2014. Each like their speeches/photographs received counted as a vote and total votes gave them a 50% chance and a shoo in at being the next teenaged Your Worship. The catch was that for a vote to count the person ‘voting’ or ‘liking’ had to be friends with the CPC. So the more CPC friends they got to like their speeches the better their chances of winning were. Facebook offered the young Mayoral Hopefuls a very familiar and comfortable platform to make their pitches and allowed them to extend their popularity and reach beyond the group of 22 Youth councillors. The under-25s is the CPC’s most influential demographic and this is the group the Council must concentrate on growing. They not only need to be engaged through activities such as Youth Council and the CPC All-Clarendon High Schools’ debate competition, the Council needs to capitalise on their leverage as chief communication influencers in the community. With Facebook usernames such as Tevii Zerotoleranz Thompson and Sajrene Summabumpa Hayles young persons obviously are creative and inhibited in their branding and promotion of self and any cause they are associated with.

CounciLink Volume 2 Issue 2  

The Clarendon Parish Councils review of the views, news and issues arising out of the Council's involvement with the people and its work in...

CounciLink Volume 2 Issue 2  

The Clarendon Parish Councils review of the views, news and issues arising out of the Council's involvement with the people and its work in...