Chairperson of the National Steering Committee for the National Best Community Competition and Programme (NBCCP), Jacqueline daCosta, is looking at the setting up of parish steering committees that will assist with the management of the competition at the parish level.
“This will be a group of people, who will engage government agencies to help determine how best they can support or help move the programme in the particular parish and they can help raise money for special area activities,” Mrs. daCosta told JIS News during an interview.
She said the establishment of parish committees would encourage greater input from groups in the parishes and they could help with the writing of project proposals and other forms of assistance, which are being provided by the Social Development Commission (SDC).
“They could help in a number of ways… they would know professionals, or know private sector entities that could give them whatever help is needed,” she pointed out.
An annual competition organised through the Cabinet Office, the NBCCPis designed to transform communities, by providing them with cash incentives and technical support to undertake projects and programmes, and to unite residents around the development of the areas in which they live.
The objective is to improve local governance, and establish partnerships between communities and key government and private sector agencies for the sustainable development of communities, parishes and the nation on the whole.
Apart from the top prizes awarded at the parish and national levels of the competition, special area prizes are awarded for best kept community facilities; most beautiful community; most improved agricultural practices; best community spirit and self-reliance; best kept educational institution; best cultural and heritage programme; and youth development.
Mrs. daCosta said the parish committees could also help to identify areas where special area prizes could be awarded. “If they wanted to have a special area prize for their parish for some area…we could have an additional prize for that parish, so they could do a variety of things that are possible,” she said.
Launched in November 2006, the NBCCP is managed by the National Best Community Foundation, comprised of members from the public and private sectors, non-governmental organisations, professional, educational and religious groups.
More detailed work is done by the National Steering Committee.
CONTACT: E. HARTMAN RECKORD