If residents in communities work together, then the Barbadian society will develop much faster.

This point was underscored by Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Ruth Blackman. Her comments were made as she delivered the feature address at an awards ceremony of the St. Philip South Constituency Council last Saturday at the Crane Beach Resort.

Mrs. Blackman spoke about the uniqueness of the Constituency Council model, adding that at the macro level it allowed for a participatory approach that was, hitherto, unheard of in the history of Barbados. She observed that this community concept allowed more persons in the district to have a say in determining infrastructural improvements, whether in terms of road repair or electricity supply.

"The idea of Constituency Councils also speaks to the promotion of local livelihoods… At the ministry, through the department of Constituency Empowerment, we encourage councils to have an inventory of skills…so that when there is a need in that constituency, there is a list to which we can go.

??"And, I think that this is something that communities, that constituencies should embrace, because it is building your community. So that when you build that constituency you can go on to build a parish, and go on to build Barbados, from the ground up," Mrs. Blackman asserted.

She contended that such a concept, when practiced, would minimise the drain on the public purse, and further opined that when persons were invested in a project that they tended to value it more.

The Acting Permanent Secretary commended the Council for its exemplary work over the months and encouraged its members to continue to foster growth in the community.

Some seven persons were honoured for their outstanding contribution to the constituency. These were Esther Larrier for community development; Steffan Burgess for youth entrepreneurship; Osbert McClean for cultural development; Jean Chase-Sealy for her contribution to religion; Eileen Patricia Agard for education; Joseph Kirton for sports development; and Oscar Burgess for farming.??clashley@barbados.gov.bb

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