Initiatives by Government to expand services to the community were outlined by Minister of State for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, at the National Church Service for Local Government Month, at the Emanuel Apostolic Church, Port Maria, St. Mary on Sunday (October 31).
The service, attended by representatives of the Department of Local Government and various Parish Councils, was hosted by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in partnership with the St. Mary Parish Council.
Custos of St. Mary, Hon. A.A. ‘Bobby’ Pottinger, reading the Governor General’s message at the National Church Service for Local Government Month at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church, Port Maria, St. Mary on Sunday (October 31).
Mr. Montague told the congregation that the initiatives were aimed at facilitating the empowerment of ordinary Jamaicans, and enhancing the development of communities.
Declaring that the initiatives included the procurement of birth certificates for old and destitute persons, to enable them to receive support from various safety nets existing for their benefit, he said they also encompass the provision of electricity to rural communities currently devoid of that service, as well as: the appointment of Parish Councillors as Justices of the Peace; the intensification of the Land Administration and Management Project (LAMP) to provide titles for untitled lands; and the implementation of Local Government Reform, to give more autonomy to Parish Councils.
He said that the Department of Local Government will partner with the Rural Electrification Programme (REP) to provide electricity to rural communities, and St. Mary has been selected as the next parish to be the focus of (LAMP) for the issuing of land titles.
The Local Government Reform Process has been progressing satisfactorily, and four Parish Councils will receive their subventions under that system during the course of next year, Mr. Montague said. This will make them more responsible for their financial management, and less dependent on the Department for support.
A section of the congregation attending the National Church Service for Local Government Month, at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church, Port Maria, St. Mary on Sunday (October 31).
The Governor General’s Message was read by Custos of the parish, Hon. A.A, ‘Bobby’ Pottinger. The Prime Minister’s Message was read by Councillor Hugh Bryan of the Annotto Bay division, and the message from the Leader of the Opposition by Councillor Murdell Rattigan of the Retreat division.
The sermon was delivered by Bishop Clovis Tracey, who called on Jamaicans to make a special effort to give family life and family values the importance they deserve in the society, and exhorted Jamaicans to embrace God, as they strive to build a more caring and prosperous nation.