JIS News

Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Portia Simpson Miller, has exhorted Jamaicans to become more organised and involved in their communities to enhance the process of democratic governance.
She said that citizen’s associations, youth clubs, churches, sports clubs and others were important fora for discussion and joint action by citizens and noted that communities with these groupings in place were less vulnerable to organized crime, more effective in withstanding natural disasters and more successful in developing meaningful projects.
Minister Simpson Miller was speaking at the National Church Service to observe Local Government and Community Month held recently at Emancipation Square in Spanish Town.
She pointed out that the Ministry was seeking to facilitate empowerment of citizens so that they were better able to control their destinies and play a central role in nation building and national development. This, she said, was part of the Local Government Reform Programme.
She further informed that the National Advisory Council on Local Government Reform, re-established earlier this year, was working towards completing its first interim report, which will be used as the basis for extensive public dialogue to forge a broad consensus on the final shape of the reformed local government system.
Commenting on the theme for Local Government Month, which is, ‘Together We Can.Renew, Reclaim and Rebuild Our Communities for a Safe and Prosperous Jamaica,’ Minister Simpson Miller urged all Jamaicans “to commit to transforming the ‘I Can’ to ‘We Can’ as we work together in renewing and recapturing a community spirit of accountability and responsibility that leads to a strong sense of security and identity”.
“Jamaica belongs to all of us and we must get involved and take ownership and build our communities block by block,” she stated, while calling on citizens to form parish development committees and non-governmental organizations; to commit to family, community and country; reclaim neighbourhoods from wrongdoers and reclaim Jamaica from the scourge of crime and violence.
Local Government and Community Month is intended to re-emphasize the strength of partnerships in communities and to foster greater participation of the leaders and residents.
The observance of the month this year takes on greater meaning as partnerships and sustainable development is the intended focus.

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