JIS News

The St. Thomas Parish Council is inviting residents to contribute to the reform of Local Government by attending and putting forward suggestions at meetings.On Thursday, July 10, the Council will be having its council meeting at the Trinityville Anglican Church, instead of the Council’s Chamber in Morant Bay, St. Thomas.
Secretary/Manager of the Parish Council, Clinton Gordon told JIS News that the meeting would be the first of three to be held out of the chamber. The others will be held in Bath and White Horses in November 2008 and February 2009, respectively.
“The whole focus of these meetings is to deepen the participation of persons in the reform process,” Mr. Gordon said, adding that it was not the custom of citizens to take part in meetings; instead they prefer to hear the news from other persons.
To encourage the involvement of residents, he said the Council has opened all its committee meetings to the public.
“We encourage persons who have issues to come and speak to the Council or committees, to discuss their issues and to get answers for them,” he said.
Mr. Gordon pointed out that over the years, he had observed that it was the same group of persons attending these meetings. He noted that there are many persons who are not coming forward to talk about their issues and so the Council had decided to take the council meetings into the communities.
The Secretary/Manager is urging persons from the various divisions, such as Mt. Lebanus, Somerset and Hillside to express their concerns at the meeting, so as to get responses from the Council. “Send us a short note or call us on the phone and tell us your name and what you would like to talk about,” he said, stating that the information would be placed on the order paper and once this was done, the person would have the right to speak.
Mr. Gordon said that having the meetings in the communities would allow persons to see their Council and Mayor in action, stressing that the reform process could not move forward until all the people understand fully how the Council operates, and buy into the process.

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