JIS News

Newly sworn-in State Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Robert ‘Bobby’ Montague, on (September 18), met with anxious staff of the former Ministry, in order to set the record straight.
Speaking with JIS News prior to the meeting, the State Minister said that the meeting was an opportunity to introduce himself to the staff as well as to meet with them to quieten some of the rumours, “that were flying all over the place that the new government was locking down local government.”
“We may be downgrading and re-organizing the Ministry, but our commitment to local government and local governance is there, and I think it is the highest that it has ever been in recent history, and we are determined to implement the reforms and all the recommendations that have gone in the past,” he said.
As part of its objectives for new governance, the new administration, under Prime Minister Bruce Golding, aims to strengthen the parish councils so that they can offer better service delivery to the residents in the various communities.
“People would like to come to the parish councils, come to their local authorities and know that their street lights work, know that the drains are clean, know that roads are repaired, know that in the case of an emergency, they can depend on their local authorities,” he pointed out.
“We [government] want to put that power into the hands of the local authorities and the local councils, so that the citizens can get that sort of service that they pay for,” Mr. Montague continued.
Accompanying the State Minister to the meeting was Devon Rowe, Permanent Secretary of the former Ministry.
Mr. Montague was among 11 Ministers of State and two Parliamentary Secretaries who were sworn in at King’s House on September 17. He is also former Mayor of Port Maria.

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