JAM | Jun 15, 2023

Mayor Thomas concern about lack of update on Portmore’s transition to parish status

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

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Mayor of Portmore Leon Thomas delivering remarks at an Emancipation Day flag-raising ceremony in the municipality in August 2020. (Photo: Facebook @mayorleonthomasportmore)

Mayor of Portmore Leon Thomas says the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development has yet to provide him with an update about the progress to transition Portmore to a parish and the expansion of proposed parish boundaries.

During his 2023-2024 Sectoral Debate presentation, portfolio minister Desmond McKenzie stated that the ministry invited discussions about parish boundaries with the Members of Parliament and the councillors who represent Constituencies and Divisions currently located within Portmore.

However, Mayor Thomas, chairman of the councillors, said no contact was made.

“We have been visiting various citizen’s association meetings, and we are discussing [the draft bill] with the residents, but there is no communication from the minister of local government in regards to any meeting about parish boundaries,” said Thomas.

Aerial view of Portmore, St Catherine. (Image:

A draft Counties and Parishes (Amendment) Bill was given to Mayor Thomas in February this year.

However, when shared with residents, it led to mounting concerns, with some requesting that the parish boundaries outlined in the draft bill be expanded.

“The only thing we got was the amendment of the draft bill that he wants to table in parliament, and that is what we are discussing. We haven’t heard anything about any meeting,” stressed Thomas.

He shared that the municipal corporation will continue to meet with residents to discuss the proposed draft bill until further information is given.

The move to transition Portmore to a parish was approved by Parliament approved last year in February.


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