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Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Victor Cummings has proposed the establishment of community councils in constituencies, which he said could “play a significant role in the transformation of our system of governance and political culture.”
Mr. Cummings, who was speaking on a private members motion in Parliament yesterday (Sept. 27), pointed out that the establishment of community councils could advance the process of local economic development and community empowerment.
“Community councils reflect a belief that new arrangements between government and communities might inspire efficiency while offering new opportunities and greater satisfaction for the people and the community being served,” he elaborated.
Continuing, Mr. Cummings said the concept of the councils envision the development of cooperative ventures involving the community, government and private sectors, which would lead to a heightening of social awareness and foster business skills among residents.
According to the Member of Parliament, the types of programmes that could be developed through the tripartite of community, government and private sector, could cover such areas as financial services, job development, social and health services, sports competitions, and security services.
He noted that to be effective, parish council divisions must be represented on the councils; they should reflect local physical and community boundaries; and focus on matters of common interest.
Mr. Cummings emphasised that the goals for the establishment of community councils could “only be realised through communication, planning, mobilisation, coordination and representation.” Funding for the community councils, he said, could be derived from the Social and Economic Support Programme (SESP).