Newly appointed Mayor of Kingston, Senator Angella Brown Burke, has welcomed the announcement that the Government has commenced the process of entrenching local governance in Jamaica’s Constitution, which will enable autonomy in the operations of the island’s Parish Councils.
This announcement was made by Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott, during Monday’s (April 2) swearing-in ceremony for the new Mayor and Deputy Mayor, at the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), Church Street, Downtown Kingston.
Addressing Councillors and guests, Mr. Arscott informed that the Ministry, which is piloting the process, has sent a draft of the proposed legislation, which will facilitate the entrenchment, to Cabinet where it is “being looked over by our legal officers."
He also expressed the hope that, “we will get the legislation through, in time for our (Jamaica's) 50th anniversary celebrations."
For her part, Senator Brown Burke emphasised the urgency of local government reform, and the dispatch with which it needs to be undertaken.
"We cannot wait too much longer for laws that will deepen and strengthen representative democracy, while allowing citizens to play an active role in managing issues that affect their daily lives. We cannot wait much longer for laws that give us the platform for good governance, sustainable development, and good order within our jurisdiction,” she said.
In this regard, Senator Brown Burke urged Mr. Arscott to emphasise within Cabinet and Parliament, the need to prioritise the matter, which “must be placed at the top of the legislative agenda."
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter