Jamaican Resort Town’s Bold Move: May Follow Portmore’s Lead

In Jamaica, legislators are working to make the town of Portmore its own parish, and according to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, similar legislation is being considered for the town of Negril. Holness hinted at the new status for Negril during the launch ceremony of Portmore Resilience Park, a $4.4 billion project. Currently, Portmore is the only Jamaican town with municipality status, its own city council, and its own mayor. With an administrative change, the resort town of Negril, which is shared by the municipal corporations of Hanover and Westmoreland, could be made a parish.

Negril’s administrative personality

Holness noted that the administrative personality of Negril is emerging, and some changes in how things are administered there must be considered. Negril has experienced significant growth, spreading into Hanover from Westmoreland. This is creating problems concerning which of the two municipalities is in charge of its development. He added that this is what happens when populations and countries grow, and such activity should not be feared, but accepted as part of the change. If Negril is given the status of a municipality, it would be on the way for the town to become its own parish.

No decision on Portmore until 

Regarding Portmore’s status, an update from the Prime Minister indicated that, while the legislation to make it the 15th parish in Jamaica has been drafted. The bill has been ready for some time, but Holness said his administration will not take it to Parliament in an environment that could be impacted by political accusations. He added that Portmore has reached the point where the government must provide for appropriate administration of its economic, social, cultural, security, and infrastructure affairs, but there is a standard process for changing political geographical boundaries in the country.