Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, says the Local Government reform process should move into the implementation stage soon.
“Our commitment to Local government is unquestionable, and we are here to ensure that we advance the process. We are doing a series of consultations, and we intend to carry the process further than it has ever been,” he said.
Mr. Arscott, who began the consultation process at a specially convened meeting with the St. Ann Parish Council on February 8, also heard concerns, including the unavailability of water in the parish during the dry season.
The Minister told the meeting that a joint Ministerial Committee has been set up to look at the situation in the parish and to come up with a long term solution to the problem. The committee is made up of representatives from the Ministries of Water and Local Government.
He suggested to the Councillors that innovative approaches should be adopted by the Council to address the water issue, such as ensuring that all building plans have some water catchment facility attached to it before it is approved.
Meanwhile, Mr. Arscott; Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Colin Fagan and a technical team from the Ministry, used the opportunity to tour the Ocho Rios Market and other facilities in the parish.
The Minister said there is a plan to develop a comprehensive programme for the development of markets across the island, with special emphasis on the standards within the markets in the tourist resorts.
Mr. Arscott told JIS News that within the coming weeks, he will be visiting the other Parish Councils.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter