2004 Commonwealth Local Gov’t Handbook Launched


The 2004 Commonwealth Local Government Handbook, which has been described as ‘the only comprehensive wide-ranging and extraordinary study of local government systems that exist’, was officially launched on Tuesday April 19 by Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Portia Simpson Miller and Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) Chairperson, Ponts’o Susan Sekatle, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
The third edition, 212-page handbook gives comprehensive profiles of local government systems in some 26 Commonwealth countries as well as case studies on local government service partnerships. Much of the research undertaken in the book has been funded by the United Kingdom Government and done in collaboration with the University of Birmingham.
In her address at the launch, Ponts’o Susan Sekatle said that CLGF was proud to be launching the handbook, which was expected to be a well-needed tool to all member countries of the Commonwealth.
“The handbook has established itself as a valuable tool for local government practitioners such as ministers, senior officials and mayors across the Commonwealth. The country profiles are important reference point as to the extent of local democracy and public sector decentralization – the major themes of the current symposium,” the CLGF Vice Chairperson pointed out.
She said further that it was pleasing to see that the handbook covered Jamaica and other Caribbean countries and expressed the hope that the findings of the Regional Symposium would be reflected in the next annual edition which would itself coincide with the 2005 Commonwealth Local Government Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Mrs. Simpson Miller, in performing the official launch of the handbook, hailed it as a step in the right direction for local government reform and local governance.
“I wish to warmly commend the 2004 Commonwealth Local Government Handbook to all local government practitioners in the Caribbean and beyond,” she noted.

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