The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) says the National Security Council, which is chaired by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, must change its approach to avoid being seen in the public’s eye as operating politically.
Opposition Spokesman on National Security Peter Bunting made the comment as he addressed reporters while on a tour of the zone of special operations in the Mt. Salem community in St. James.
Mr. Bunting said several other places were recommended to be a zone of special operations.
However, the National Security Council, which he said is a political group, has selected another area.
He said the selection of zones should be driven by objective consideration by members of the security forces that are not influenced by any party’s thought or advantage.
Mr. Bunting also reiterated the Opposition’s stance, that Mt. Salem does not necessarily meet the criteria that warrants a zone of special operations, the issue residents have been complaining about.
The PNP and the residents are of the view that some level of political manipulation was done in selecting Mt. Salem as the first zone of special operations.
However, Mr. Bunting said the selection of Mt. Salem is good, as it will help to bring a greater level of social intervention to fruition for the people of the community.
The touring party included Deputy General Secretary of the PNP Basil Waite, Vice Presidents Dr. Angela Brown Burke, Dr. Fenton Ferguson and Dr. Wykeham McNeil, along with three PNP Councillors from the St. James Municipal Corporation.
And, Dr. Fenton Ferguson says the large pile-up of garbage seen in Mt. Salem today is unacceptable.
Dr. Ferguson who is the Opposition Spokesman on Labour and Social Security says, he and a PNP delegation who toured the community were shocked to see the vast amount of uncollected garbage.
Mt. Salem is the first community to be declared a zone of special operations.
Dr. Ferguson says now that the zone of special operations is in effect in Mt. Salem, it is expected that activities such as proper garbage collection would have been part of the social intervention program.
Piggott Street and Crawford Street are mostly affected.
Dr. Ferguson says this issue now poses a serious health threat to the residents who are in the zone.