|Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett??|
The Constituency Councils are a critical tool in the continued development of good governance from the community to the national level.
This is the view of Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, who was speaking last Saturday evening at the St. John Constituency Council’s inaugural Awards Ceremony at the Massiah Wesleyan Holiness Worship Centre, Massiah Street, St. John.
Alluding to the speech of the late Prime Minister, David Thompson, at the launch of the Constituency Councils in July 2009, the Minister stressed that the councils were designed to serve the people of Barbados in the "best way possible," adding that "this initiative will deepen democracy in Barbados and take local governance to a new level."
According to Mr. Blackett, the focus on the constituency programme was not to initiate activities at all costs, but of equal importance, was the manner in which they were executed. "Excellence and good governance walk hand in hand like horse and carriage," he asserted.
"We must never forget that the journey is about good governance at the local level. The Constituency Councils’ Act and the operations manual which guide your activities were conceptualised to ensure that we can give good account of the stewardship of the councils as a vital instrument in the sustained development of Barbados."
The Minister noted that, in time, both documents would be reviewed to better facilitate the work of the councils and to more effectively meet the needs of their communities.
The ceremony saw several persons honoured for their outstanding contributions to the parish of St. John in the areas of Education, Agriculture, Arts and Culture and Sports. There were also categories for Community Groups and Unsung Heroes as well as a Cornerstone Award.