The SDC’s Development Area Committee consultation is one of many consultations hosted by the agency on an on-going basis to foster good community relations and galvanize support around local and national issues.
The main community mobilization arm of the Ministry, the Social Development Commission (SDC), held a Development Area Committee (DAC) consultation in St Catherine on April 28, 2013 and Minister of State the Honourable Colin Fagan was on hand to deliver the main address.
Speaking to the community leaders the State Minister emphasized the importance of good public management as a component of good governance. In this respect he said that community leaders must understand the changing dynamics of their roles and make necessary changes in order to remain effective . “Leadership consultations such as these are vital tools to help you in directing, planning, controlling and leading those whom you serve at the community level”, he told participants.
He also lauded the SDC for their continued work in promoting community action and partnerships as an essential ingredient in the process of transforming local governance in Jamaica. “We can’t overemphasize the role of community development, partnership and consultation in the local government reform process” He said.
Minister of State Fagan went on to highlight strides made by the government in the local government revitalization process. He spoke about the strengthening of the Local Government Reform Unit, the move to give recognition to PDCs DACs CDC in the Local Governance Act and the completion of the review of Portmore Municipal Council.
He also mentioned some of the new initiatives of the Ministry including the Local Economic Development programme (LED) designed to stimulate economic activity in communities, and the parish safety and security programme which has made significant strides in developing the awareness of Parish partners in the area of crime prevention and security in the six pilot parishes, which includes St Catherine.
Fagan assured the St Catherine community leaders that more consultations would be done to fully engaging the participatory machinery that underpin the local government reform and revitalisation process. He also commended St. Catherine on the work its PDCs and DACs saying that ‘where some parishes lag behind you are a trailblazer’.