Ministry of Local Government & Community Development

Ministry of Local Government
& Community Development

Government of Jamaica

Local Authority

Structure, Role & Functions of the Local Authority

Local Authorities are those entities at the local level through which the Department of Local Government carries out its functions within communities. These entities are, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), the Portmore Municipal Council and the 12 Parish Councils.

Responsibilities
·         Minor Water Supplies & Social Water
·         Municipal Parks & Beautification
·         Cemeteries
·         Markets
·         Abattoirs
·         Pounds
·         Parking facilities
·         Parochial Roads
·         Local Sustainable Development Planning
·         Drains & Gullies
·         Street Lights
·         Infirmaries and other welfare services

Your Local Authority has two arms, the political and the administrative. The political arm is made up of Councillors, headed by the Mayor who chairs the Council and is responsible for determining policies.  The administrative arm headed by a manager who advises and implements the policies of, the council. The head of the administrative arm of Council is also secretary to the Council and is therefore called the Secretary/Manager except in the case of the Kingston & St Andrew Corporation where this person is called the Town Clerk and Portmore Municipal Council where this person is called the Chief Administrative Officer

Local Authorities are empowered to make by-laws, regulations and rules for the good governance of the parishes over which they have jurisdiction. Specific responsibilities of the Councils include:
  • Developing, managing and maintaining infrastructure and public facilities such as parochial roads, water supplies, drains and gullies, parks, recreational centres, markets, abattoirs, pounds, cemeteries, transportation centres, public sanitary conveniences and public beaches.
  • Provision of local services such as poor relief, public cleansing, public health, street lighting
  • Regulation powers in respect to building and planning approvals and development control, licensing of trades and businesses, street parking, control of public vending.
  • Coordinating inter-agency collaboration among non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (COBs) and government agencies which operate in the parish and are engaged in the delivery of local services or in local development.
  • Support of national policies/development programmes at the local level.
  • Spearhead plans and initiatives for the orderly, balanced and sustainable development of the parish as a whole, and major towns in particular, and for the boosting economic activity and local wealth creation within the parish.