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Five local authorities and two organisations were given special awards at the Third Annual Local Government Recognition Awards ceremony, held at Laughing Waters, Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on November 30. 

The ceremony was the culmination of activities for Local Government and Community Development Month, which is observed in November each year.  This year’s activities were observed under the theme: ‘Local Government; on a mission together, building better communities’.

Those awarded were:  The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), for outstanding performance in improvement in overall Property Tax collections; the Westmoreland Parish Council, for outstanding performance in engaging citizens’ participation in the affairs of Local Government; the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, for its efforts at improving the Welfare of the Poor; and the St. Thomas Parish Council, for outstanding performance in enhancing own source revenue.

The  Manchester Parish Council was awarded jointly with the Westmoreland Parish Council for best overall performance in the implementation of core Local Government Reform initiatives.

Organisations  recognised were  the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), which received the Minister’s award; and Food For The Poor, which received the Minister’s special award, both for partnership with the local authorities in the reform agenda.

Addressing the ceremony, Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, commended all support groups that work with the local authorities across the island, adding that this year’s theme and the fact that two such organisations were being awarded at the ceremony, was testament of that support.

“It goes to show that we are mindful of the support that we are getting from our partners in the private sector and outside of Government,” he noted.

The State Minister said that as the Local Government Reform process is advanced, he is encouraging local authorities to do all they can to be self-sufficient, and that there are some local authorities working hard to make a difference in that respect.