JIS News

Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Hon Robert Montague, has commended Mayors and Councillors for their commitment to the implementation of Local Government Reform over the past 2 years.
Speaking with JIS News, at the first annual Local Government Recognition Awards for Councils, at White River, St. Mary, on Wednesday, December 30, Mr. Montague said that he was pleased with their achievements during 2007-2009.
“Each Parish Council contributed to this awards ceremony, through their Mayors, and it is a collaborative effort for the whole Local Government Reform system,” he said.
Nine individual awards were presented to the Councils, for outstanding performances over the period in areas such as: Compliance with Property Taxes; Citizens Participation; Enhancing Own Source Revenue; and The implementation of Core Local Government Reform Initiatives.
The main award went to Keith Miller, Former Town Clerk of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) and a veteran of the reform process. The Prime Minister, the Hon Bruce Golding, was given a special award for his commitment to the implementation of the reform agenda.
Mr. Montague congratulated the awardees, and assured them that much more effort would be put into ensuring that Jamaica is given the Local Government system that they envision.
He said that the event culminated efforts, over the last two years, in trying to recognise persons who have worked within the system to achieve the objectives.
Focussing on the Local Government Reform Implementation Programme, in terms of public participation, Mr. Montague said that the Department would soon be embarking on a two-week programme to engage the public in the vision for a sustainable development plan for each parish.
“We are going to be starting in Portland and we are going to be running, parish by parish, around the country until we end in St. Thomas. And, we will be inviting all civil society groups to make their contributions,” he stated.
The Minister said that this will ensure that the sustainable 20-year development plan for each parish will be written by the citizens of the parish, because the intention is to put governance in their hands.
Mr. Montague also encouraged the Mayors and Councillors to continue to work hard, as they venture into the final phase of the implementation of the Reform Programme.

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