Government To Address Constituency Councils??? Human Resources Challenges

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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart??(FP)

Government has promised to provide adequate human and other resources to facilitate the smooth running of the island’s 30 Constituency Councils.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart gave this assurance last Saturday while addressing the official launch of the final 12 Constituency Councils at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

He reasoned that the economic recession had forced government to relook its plans and, as a result, the Department of Constituency Empowerment was forced to establish the Councils with limited resources.?? Additionally, the department also shared some of its human and other resources with the Community Development Department.

Despite these challenges, Mr. Stuart praised the work that had been done so far by the Councils to improve the lot of Barbadians.?? "The reports given by the Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development show that in a mere two years, the Constituency Councils of Barbados have made a significant and positive impact on the island’s social landscape.?? I, therefore, promise the Department that as soon as we can do better we will provide the human and other resources which they so rightly deserve."

The Prime Minister intimated that the Constituency Councils were designed to "trigger the release" of the creative energy of citizens in their respective communities. He also pointed to their unique and important role in preserving communities and reducing poverty throughout the island.

As part of their mandate, Mr. Stuart said the Councils would, among other things, allow parliamentarians to focus more on their law making responsibilities; foster closer linkages between generations; and be the first responders in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

"I have great expectations of Constituency Councils and you must be allowed to grow and develop this new togetherness under the guidance of the Ministry and the Department of Constituency Empowerment, to eventually achieve the full range of objectives of the Act. As Council Members, learn to bond together to increase your knowledge of their communities; you will be able to place your many skills at the disposal of the community and constituency," he surmised.

Mr. Stuart advised the Council members to publish a newsletter or magazine which highlighted the work being done by the groups.

During the ceremony, the administration of the oath and the presentation of instruments/manuals and constituency maps, were made to the chairpersons and members of the 12 Constituency Councils for St. Peter, St. Andrew, St. Joseph, St. James Central, St. Michael West, St. Michael West Central, St. Michael North East, St. Michael South Central, St. Michael East, St. Michael Central, St. Thomas and Christ Church West.

jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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