Government Strengthens Engagement with Citizens

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Andrew Holness (2nd right), shares a light moment with residents during the inaugural ‘HOPE for Jamaica’ town hall meeting at the Ocho Rios High School in St. Ann on May 4. Others (from left) are Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw; Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson; and Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang.

Story Highlights

  • The Government is strengthening its engagement with citizens through a series of town hall meetings aimed at heightening their awareness about how key policies and initiatives being implemented will affect them.
  • The Prime Minister was supported by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who also addressed the meeting.

The Government is strengthening its engagement with citizens through a series of town hall meetings aimed at heightening their awareness about how key policies and initiatives being implemented will affect them.

These interactive fora will feature presentations by key government officials, including Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, and Cabinet Ministers.

Spearheaded by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, the series got under way at the Ocho Rios High School in St. Ann on May 4 under the theme ‘HOPE for Jamaica’.

In his address to the large gathering, the Prime Minister underscored the importance of keeping the nation abreast of the Administration’s activities at the community level.

“We have decided to do these town hall meetings because it is one thing to have a good policy, but it is very important for us to meet together in this way for us (Government) to say what we are doing to make your lives better, and for you to say what you would like us to do. Together, we can also think of new things to do,” he said.

Emphasising that knowledge is power, Mr. Holness said the information to be generated from the meetings is intended to empower citizens to make informed decisions about their welfare and to strengthen their relationship with the Government.

“I have faith and confidence in the people of Jamaica that if I tell them something, they will support it, or they will guide and advise me if they don’t like it, which will enable us to make changes. In that, we build a strong relationship… and develop that all-important strong bond and understanding,” he said.

 

The Prime Minister was supported by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who also addressed the meeting.

“Executing programmes, as a Government, takes some time and planning. But we still believe it is important to keep the people informed and engaged in what is happening,” Dr. Chang said.

Among the other speakers were Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw; National Security Minister, Hon. Robert Montague; Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid; and Labour and Social Security Minister and Member of Parliament for North East St. Ann,  Hon. Shahine Robinson.

JIS Social