JIS News

Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, has said that implementation of the recommendations for Local Government Reform has been extended from September to June next year.
Addressing members of the St. Catherine Parish Council at a special meeting on June 29 at the Council’s office, Spanish Town, Mr. Montague said that the extension will allow for the entrenchment of Local Government in the Jamaican Constitution, as part of the reform process.
“The Cabinet and the Prime Minister have agreed to extend the implementation period from September this year to June next year, so that Councillors currently serving would have been consulted on the new Acts, because once they are passed they would be affecting the life of Council for another 30 years,” he said.
Minister Montague, who has responsibility for Local Government at the OPM, explained that Government was trying to repeal about 14 statutes that govern Local Government.
“We are trying to repeal 14 of that 82, and to promulgate three Acts of Parliament to deal with and to treat with Local Government in Jamaica,” he added.
He said that the Department of Local Government has completed the draft and amendment to the Constitution.
“We have received the comments of the Attorney General, it has been forwarded to Cabinet Office, and it will form part of the overall amendments to the Constitution that have been negotiated through the Vale Royal talks. So we have completed what we can do,” the Minister said.
He also announced that a Councillors’ handbook has been developed by the Department of Local Government.
“We have developed a Councillors’ handbook, (it is) now at the printers and we hope that current councillors, as well as new councillors will have a manual in which they can make reference to,” he said.

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