Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, says that community response to the series of Parish Development Symposia has been overwhelming, so far.
Speaking with JIS News after the Trelawny Parish Symposium, on the grounds of the Jamaica Baptist Union’s Conference Centre, Duncans, Trelawny, on Tuesday (February 23), Mr. Montague said that the response to the series of symposia showed that the people are interested in any development slated for their communities.
“The response has been overwhelming. This has been a need that the people have had, and they have expressed it, and they really want to be a part of the development”, he said.
His comments came against the background of the Trelawny forum, the fifth to be staged, to date, in the series of some 14 planned fora, with one to be held in each parish.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) with responsibility for Local Government, Hon Robert Montague (left)admiring the Jewel of Office of the Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Collin Gager (right), while Custos of Trelawny, Paul Muschett, looks on. Occasion was the Department of Local Government’s Trelawny Parish Development Symposium at the Jamaica Baptist Union’s Conference Centre, Duncans, Trelawny on Tuesday (February 23).
The series of fora are being held under the theme, “My Community, Our Parish, One Jamaica – My Vision”, with the Trelawny event maintaining the trend set since the start of the series, with hundreds of persons from various communities representing a very wide cross-section of the parish, in attendance.
The fora are aimed at engaging community members in the process of developing a 20-year Local Sustainable Development Plan (LSDP), for their communities and parish.
They also provide citizens with information on how to access benefits, from agencies and organisations that can be of assistance in supporting projects and community activities.
In his address, Mr. Montague told the participants that they are laying the foundation for their children and grandchildren, which is part of their responsibility as adults. He said that the process is aimed at building on what is in place, with full participation from all who have an interest in their parish and the future of Jamaica.
Mayor of Falmouth and Chairman of the Trelawny Parish Council, Councillor Collin Gager, said that the Parish Development Symposium twinned perfectly with the ongoing Local Government reform process.
Custos of Trelawny, Paul Muschett, said that the Parish is on the apex of a great renaissance, and expressed the hope that the ideas put forward at the forum will not only fare well for the next 20 years but even further into the future.
Member of Parliament for North Trelawny, Dr. Patrick Harris, described the event as timely, while encouraging all present to fully participate as they are all a part of a vision in process that should help in elevating the parish.
The format of the symposium included several workshop sessions, led by a number of resource persons. Topics include: Infrastructure and the Environment; Economic Development; Wealth Creation; Agriculture; and Social Services and Governance, among others. Summary reports were compiled and tabled at the end of the sessions.
The series of fora will move to St. James on Wednesday (February 24) and Hanover on Thursday (February 25).