The Presentation was concluded with a reminder that citizen involvment is “at the very heart of the democratic process”.
Consequently, while we push the legislative process to conclusion and vigorously pursue avenues for local economic development, as you heard from Minister Arscott two weeks ago, we are deeply conscious that these efforts will be futile unless the citizens whose lives we seek to better through such initiatives are empowered to actively and effectively participate in the process to transform their own lives and that of their communities. In essence Mr Speaker our approach is firmly grounded in that well known adage: “It is better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish”.
That Mr Speaker, is the fundamental goal that we seek to achieve through the initiatives, and programmes that we have developed, are developing and are in the process of implementing; and which I have sought to highlight in this Presentation:
- The review of and consultation on the Portmore experience, as well as implementation of the subsequent recommendations, all being pursued through citizen participation and involvement.
- Taking advantage of the renewed interest of our corporate citizens to bolster our efforts to upgrade our fire services.
- Extending application of the principle of local self-governance, through the concepts of Town Centres and Town Managers, and in which citizen participation constitute an essential element in the management of Urban Centres.
- Our ambitious plan for fire stations which incorporates teamwork, leadership development and community and empowerment.
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