JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, is on a series of fact-finding visits to all parish offices.
  • Speaking with JIS News at the Westmoreland SDC office in Savanna-La-Mar, on July 29, the State Minister said his visits so far have been “enlightening,” and he is more knowledgeable and in a better position to help “re-energize” the Commission.
  • The State said having gone to a number of parish offices, he is now aware of certain “concerns”, and the methods officers and other stakeholders can now employ to change the public views and misconceptions, and be able to place the Commission on the correct policy direction.

To further strengthen the Social Development Commission (SDC) to facilitate the economic and social empowerment of communities islandwide, Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, is on a series of fact-finding visits to all parish offices.

Speaking with JIS News at the Westmoreland SDC office in Savanna-La-Mar, on July 29, the State Minister  said his visits so far have been “enlightening,”  and he is more knowledgeable and in a better position to help “re-energize” the Commission.

SDCand Westmoreland Parish Council Groundbreaking. 028

“The SDC has evolved to this point where it now seems to be taking on facilitating roles … not having its own programmes.  I would like to see the SDC getting back to those days when it was more involved in communities with its own programmes, so that these communities can understand that the agency for community development lies with the Social Development Commission and not other entities,” Mr. Fagan explained.

The State said having gone to a number of parish offices, he is now aware of certain “concerns”, and the methods officers and other stakeholders can now employ to change the public views and misconceptions, and be able to place the Commission on the correct policy direction.

“I  am hoping to use my experiences and the knowledge gained through these visits to guide some of those programmes and projects … as we seek to brand the SDC…so that all Jamaica can know that this entity is truly the community development agency,” Mr. Fagan added.

SDCand Westmoreland Parish Council Groundbreaking. 030

During the month of June, the State Minister covered the parishes of St. Thomas, Portland, St. Ann and St. Mary and since July 1, has visited most parishes on the Southern and Western end of the island.

He told JIS News that the visits should be completed in time for indepth   assessments and decisions as to the way forward, by October.

The State Minister reiterated that he will be using the most practical, cost-effective strategies in moving the Commission forward, including  partnerships with the private sector, as well as strengthening and creating new partnerships with other suitable government entities.