Wed | Jun 7, 2023

Barking up the wrong tree - Pickersgill rubbishes claims by Amos that sports complex is not maintained

Published:Friday | August 28, 2020 | 12:05 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Staff Reporter

Outgoing member of Parliament for St Catherine North West Robert Pickersgill is describing as “false and propaganda” claims by Newton Amos, the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) prospective candidate in the upcoming general election, that no money has been spent to maintain the Bramwell Clarke sports complex.

He said that the complex has been used, among other things, to host the Bobby Pickersgill Football Competition, one of the biggest events of its kind in the island.

The senior People’s National Party (PNP) politician admitted that the complex earns millions through the football competition and other events. However, he stated that significant sums have been spent to develop and maintain the facility.

“So what he is saying is really false and propaganda because outside of education with my Constituency Development Fund, the next big area of spending is on sports. In fact, we have established over there a lawn tennis court and basketball court, so he is barking up the wrong tree when he speaks about the community centre,” Pickersgill said.

He also dismissed as “rubbish” claims that the bathroom facilities are pit latrines and are in a deplorable condition.

“I have used the bathrooms there on several occasions I know of no pit latrines,” he added.


Responding to charges that the Ewarton cemetery had exhausted all its space for burials, yet persons were still being laid to rest there, Pickersgill said that the mayor of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation had advised him that a new cemetery was being built at Thetford Park in Old Harbour.

However, Sydney Rose, councillor of the Treadways division, told The Gleaner that the cemetery in Ewarton was not officially closed. “As a matter of fact, what we are doing, we are in advanced negotiations to purchase additional lands which adjoin the cemetery,” he said.

Defending his stewardship against accusations that he neglected to address serious water shortage and bad roads in the constituency, Pickersgill said that St Catherine North West is ranked among the best constituencies when it comes to water supplies. “I am prepared to debate that anywhere,” he added.

The majority of the roads in the constituency, said Pickersgill, are municipality roads. However, he acknowledged that when people want repairs to be done they are not mindful about who should fix them.

“I know that there are several roads that I have repaired more than once, and road repairs are very expensive,” he said.

Pickersgill, who presided over the constituency for 31 years, said that a lot of the North Coast Highway passes through St Catherine North West, with millions of dollars expended on the project.

He said it has improved the transportation system in the constituency.


“One way for him (Amos) to lose, because I am sure he will, is to continue on that leg of falsehood,” he continued.

“When he (Amos) ran against me he did not even know that we had spent a big sum of money in Mount Rosser where he is from, and he went there chatting a whole lot of rubbish when the system was there because we had just competed it,” the MP declared.

“That man is from Mount Rosser and I thought he would have been able to beat me in that area, but he could not.”

Meanwhile, Rose said that the Treadways road was repaired by the National Works Agency (NWA) and not the St Catherine municipality, as mentioned by Amos. He said it was technical personnel from the NWA who did the estimates. “I would advise him to get his facts straight before he speaks,” Rose said of Amos.