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Local Government & Community Month Closes with Prestigious Awards Function

A total of eighty one (81) awards were handed out during the Local Government & Community Awards function held at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Thursday, November 28, 2013.
In continuation of the unification of what use to be celebrated by the Ministry of Local as Local Government Month and by the Social Development Commission as Community Month, Thursday’s awards function combined the SDC’s community awards with the Ministry’s awards for Local Authorities.  The result being that awardees in the SDC sports competitions as well as Local Government reform initiatives came together with community based organization for one big celebration.
In delivering the main address Minister of Local Government & Community Development the Honourable Noel Arscott said he was pleased with the efforts to synergize the Ministry’s mandate with that of the SDC. “We are one in our vision and our mission to build Jamaica starting at the community level” he declared.
Minister Arscott also said it was fitting as Local Government & Community Month is being celebrated under the theme A Prosperous Economy Starts with my Community that time is taken to applaud the efforts of the many player and contributors to the community development process. He spoke of the Ministry’s implementation of the Caribbean Local Economic Development Programme (CARILED) and the SDC’s Local Economic Development Support Programme (LEDSP) as well as their cricket and netball competitions as critical programmes for energising, growing and engaging citizens and communities.
Minister Arscott congratulated all the winners, practitioners and stakeholders for the “active role they continue to play in their communities”.
These winners included the top four teams in the SDC’s twenty/twenty cricket competition first place, Junction/Bull Savannah; second place, Richmond Park; third place, Peterville; and fourth place, Jacks River and the top four teams in Petrojam sponsored netball team first place, Mandeville United; second place, Titchfield Phoenix; third place, Westchester Netball Team; and fourth place, Catherine Mount Netball Team. Several community-based cricket and netball teams were also recognised during the awards ceremony.
In additional to awards in the cricket and netball competitions the SDC also awarded Governance Capacity Grant Funding (GCGF), valued at $700,000, to seven community based organizations.
Recipients of the Local Government Awards for Local Authorities were;.
·         St. Catherine Parish Council for Most Improved in Property Tax Collections
·         Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation, Most Improved in Enhancing Own Source Revenue Collection
·         St. Mary Parish Council, Best Performance in Improving the Welfare of the Poor
·         St. Ann Parish Council, Best Performance in the Provision of Indigent Housing
·         Manchester Parish Council, Engaging Citizens Participation in the Affairs of the Local Authority
·         Westmoreland Parish Council, was awarded the Most Outstanding performance in Implementing Core Local Government Reform Initiatives as well as Best Performance in the Development Approval Process.
The Local Government Awards began in 2009 as a way of recognizing those Local Authorities that have performed creditably in respective areas of the Local Government Reform Programme and demonstrating their commitment to the local government reform process.  This was the first time that the awards were being combined with the SDC’s community awards.