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  • Thousands of persons have already signed a petition for their Members of Parliament and Councillors to apply urgency to the passage of the legislation.
  • The petition stated that “without the passage of this Act, Community Development Committees and other governance groups struggle with obtaining formal registration and recognition
  • The Mayor noted however, that “in the spirit of participation and in the spirit of local government reform” there should be another public discussion.

Eager for the opportunity to participate fully in the local government process, more Jamaicans are joining the call for the swift passage of the Local Government Reform Act.

Thousands of persons have already signed a petition for their Members of Parliament and Councillors to apply urgency to the passage of the legislation, which facilitates community participation in planning and decision-making.

Representatives from Kingston and St. Andrew Community Development Committee (CDC), on February 27, signed a copy of the petition at a conference held at the St. Andrew Parish Church Hall.

The conference was the last of a series held islandwide to heighten participants’ knowledge of the importance of local governance and its processes; and the link between governance and economic development, as well as to increase public advocacy for timely passage of the revised local governance legislation.

The petition stated that “without the passage of this Act, Community Development Committees and other governance groups struggle with obtaining formal registration and recognition: as well as mobilising resources. This compromises their viability, sustainability and the overall economic growth of our country – Jamaica. We strongly urge our representatives in Parliament to review and pass the Act forthwith.”

The Conference of Community Development Committees was organised by the Social Development Commission (SDC), in partnership with the National Association of Parish Development Committees (NAPDEC), and National Integrity Action Limited (NIA) under the theme ‘The Governance Framework: The Pathway to Local Economic Development.”

Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Angela Brown Burke, placed her support for the petition on record. “I have heard the call for the legislation and I join the call for the legislation, and I have heard the Minister (of Local Government and Community Development) say that it will be here shortly.”

The Mayor noted however, that “in the spirit of participation and in the spirit of local government reform” there should be another public discussion on changes being made to the proposed legislation by Cabinet, before it is enacted”.

She also updated the community leaders on measures that the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) is embarking on to improve revenue earnings as well as to be more people-centered.

Mayor Brown Burke informed that the KSAC has developed a Citizens Charter and will also put in place a customer service desk at the Council. She promised that by March, persons should see a difference in service delivery at the KSAC.