Minister Noel Arscott and State Minister Colin Fagan in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development have embarked on an official tour of the island’s fourteen local authorities and affiliated agencies today as part of a series of face-to-face dialogue with members of the local government fraternity.
The Ministers who are accompanied by a technical team from the Ministry have used the familiarization tour as an opportunity to outline their vision for the local government portfolio as well as address outstanding issues and challenges being experienced by councils in their pursuit of an efficient and effective reform of the local government system.
In his main address Minister Arscott underscored the commitment of the government to moving the local government reform programme “ … from reform to local government implementation.”
The Minister also reminded council that “while autonomy is a long term goal of council, each council will have to conduct its affairs with transparency and accountability to be able to stand up to scrutiny in order to defend your quest for autonomy.”
Minister Fagan who was also on his first official visit, encouraged councils to; “demonstrate your relevance (to the parish) be creative in maximising your revenue earning potential in order to be better able to sustain your parish needs without dependency on central government”.
While not giving any commitment the ministers outlined the priority programmes under the new administration which included the rehabilitation of fire stations and markets which should include the erection of a new fire station in Moneague , St. Ann.
The Ministers who were on the first leg of their tour at the St. Ann Parish Council also visited the fire station, market, NSWMA office in St. Ann and will join the St. Catherine Parish Council tomorrow at 2:00 pm.