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JIS News

Come Wednesday (January 30), St. Ann residents will get a chance to speak directly with Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Local Government Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott and other government officials, at the latest in a series of parish meetings, organised by the Social Development Commission (SDC).

The meeting is set for St. Hilda’s High School in Brown’s Town, beginning at 4:00 p.m., and is a continuation of the initiative which started last year. So far, over 70 per cent of Cabinet Ministers have participated in the meetings.

In an interview with JIS News, Executive Director of the SDC, Dwayne Vernon, said hundreds of Jamaicans have attended the three parish meetings held since last October.

“They (parish meetings) are well attended. There has been an average of 500 persons per forum and in terms of questions, in excess of 30 questions per session being dealt with, and of course the Prime Minister has been the main speaker at all sessions,” he said.

Mr. Vernon said all the questions asked have been documented and the various Ministers and Ministries are dealing with the issues raised, especially those that can be addressed in the short term.

The meetings started in St. Catherine, with two others being held in Clarendon and St. James. This is part of the government’s thrust to promote accountability, transparency and to allow direct feedback and recommendations from citizens.