Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steven Blackett, is pleased with the level of work being carried out by the 30 Constituency Councils.
Speaking to media recently after a tour of the soon-to-be completed multi-purpose St. Mark???s Community Centre at Blades Hill, St. Philip, Mr. Blackett stated that despite ???operating under some financial and fiscal constraints???, the Councils were meeting their mandate.
He pointed out that during the recent debate in Parliament on the Constituency Councils Act 2009, amendments were made to assist the Councils in generating revenue.
???We have made some allowances for them to raise their own funds and to access charities and other philanthropic agencies that are willing to pour funds into the Constituency Councils. We have given them that lead way through amendments to the Act, and therefore I think they have enough flexibility and room to address the needs that come before them,??? the Social Care Minister reasoned.
Mr. Blackett added that of the 30 Constituency Councils, 18 were in operation and the remaining 12 were slated to renew their contractual arrangements by the end of February or early March. A Constituency Council is a legally established body of local representatives, who have been appointed and given the authority to voice the concerns of the residents of the Constituency.
Its aim is to maintain links with central Government and other agencies; and to effectively and efficiently manage resources for the development of the given Constituency. The pilot phase of the Constituency Council programme began in July 2009, with the launching of six Councils. Twelve more were subsequently launched in March 2010, and the remaining Constituency Councils formalised in April 2010.