Speaking during the opening ceremony of the Community Renewal Programme’s mass Consultation Forum held at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Wednesday, August 14, 2013, Minister Noel Arscott applauded the consultative approach being taken to the implementation of the programme.
The Local Government Minister congratulated the implementing partners, PIOJ and SDC, for spearheading the stakeholders’ consultation; adding that the PIOJ should be commended for taking bold steps in developing programs that will render assistance to communities that are often neglected because they are seen as ‘violent and beyond help’.
The Community Renewal Programme (CRP) he said must be seen as a game-changer as it has been conceptualized on the premise that security, justice and community economic well-being are pre-requisites for the sustainable development of Jamaica’s communities and for the country as a whole. The Community Renewal Project targets 100 of the most volatile and vulnerable communities in five parishes. The CPR seeks to empower residents to achieve their fullest potential and contribute to the attainment of a secure, cohesive and just Jamaican society as outlined in Goals 1 and 2 of Vision 2030 Jamaica by providing a coordinating framework for the implementation of a holistic range of interventions.
The consultation marked the beginning of the implementation process for phase 1 of the programme which is currently being piloted the Majesty Gardens community. Participants in the forum included Parliamentarians, Local Government Representatives and most importantly community members. The meeting sought to elicit feedback and to assess community assets as well as your needs and priorities.
Pointing to the important role played by the Social Development Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Local Government & Community Development, Minister Arscott promised the continued commitment of the Ministry to facilitating the implementation of the CRP. “I pledge the Ministry’s support to monitor the implementation and provide the necessary policy support as needed” he said.
He also committed to playing a leading role in the development of the Kingston Lifestyle Centre which will be a catalyst for the redevelopment of downtown Kingston and its surrounding communities.