Government Senator, Wensworth Skeffery is urging the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development to fast track the implementation of local government reform.
In a motion tabled in the Senate on September 21, Senator Skeffery noted that local government reform will give real autonomy, self-determination and independence to the people of Jamaica in their communities.
He further called upon the Ministry to present to the Senate a design of its local government reform agenda and a schedule of its programme to achieve reform during this parliamentary year.
The Government of Jamaica embarked on the Local Government Reform agenda with the presentation of Ministry Paper 8/93 tabled in the House of Representatives in 1993.
The main objective is to create a strong and vibrant system of local governance, in which all citizens can enjoy real opportunities to fully and directly participate in and contribute to the management and development of their local communities, and by extension, the nation.
This will be achieved through: entrenchment of local government in the Constitution; recognition of local government as a separate sphere of government; strengthening community-based organisations through implementation of the Parish Development Committee model in each parish; preparation of a Local Sustainable Development Plan for each parish to guide planned and sustained development; regionalisation of specialised services for cost effectiveness; building institutional capacity through training interventions; strengthening accountability, transparency and probity in the local authorities; setting up of a reform committee in each council to assist in fast-tracking the reform process.