Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Shahine Robinson is stepping into the fray of what has become an ongoing impasse in the Hanover Parish Council, with a view to assist in favourably addressing the issues that are seeming to negatively impact governance of the Council and its local jurisdiction.
Minister Robinson noted that she will be seeking to have dialogue with the relevant parties, both the political and administrative arms of council with a view to better understanding and hopefully successfully resolve the issues, pending a judicial review that is now before the Supreme Court.
Failing this ministerial intervention effort, the Minister is issuing a strong warning to the Hanover Parish Council to speedily find an amicable way to resolving the issues that have kept the council out of session for almost two months.
“I am prepared to take strong measures within the legal remit of the law to deal with this impasse if we cannot resolve our differences amicably in the interest of the citizens and the continued development of Hanover,” She said.
Minister Robinson who has recently assumed the portfolio in light of the Government’s Cabinet reshuffle last month, indicated that she has been taking note and apprising herself of the issues relating to the seeming continuous impasse among the councillors in the island’s western local authority. A situation which preceded her tenure.
The Hanover Parish Council has been faced with a series of political and legal issues allegedly stemming from what is being viewed as a leadership crisis. It is in this vein that the minister is expressing grave concern for the affairs of the citizens of the parish which she fears will suffer from the lack of effective decisions on the way forward that are to be made during Sittings of Council.
“We cannot continue this way, this is not good local governance; we need to address the bigger picture which is the business of the people who elected us to advocate on their behalf in making the right policy decisions; and we cannot do this effectively if we cannot work together,” she reiterated.
The Minister also noted that “the very fabric of local government reform and all its principles, particularly that of good governance, are at stake and would have brought our efforts to naught in Hanover, were we to allow this issue to continue unresolved”.
Notwithstanding the veiled threat, Minister Robinson is hoping that the Council will justify their presence and tenure by seeking to conduct themselves with decorum and professionalism and move with alacrity to treating the affairs of the people of Hanover like a business poised for growth through meaningful discourse, strategic planning and goal congruence.
The judicial review is set for Friday, July 22, 2011.