With the necessary legislation for the Constituency Councils soon to be in place, Government is moving ahead to ensure that the Constituency Empowerment Department is staffed and that the selection process for the first six councils is completed.
That is the word from Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, Christopher Sinckler, who was giving an update about the process to be undertaken for the six Councils to be “up and running.”
He stated that staff selection had already begun and the Department would need two programme officers; six programme assistants; an IT administrator, to develop the computer programme to link the Councils with the Department; and clerical officers.
Minister Sinckler revealed that the Ministry was working with the Chief Parliamentary Counsel’s Office to finalise regulations, which should “soon be in hand” and these would go to Parliament as soon as it resumed.
“In the meantime…, the advisory committee will meet on the agreed regulations and start the selection process for the first six councils. Once we’ve announced those persons and the Councils have had their first meeting, then we will proceed to do the other zones. We will do them two and two, and hopefully, complete them by the end of May,” he said.
Mr. Sinckler explained that there were five zones – southern, northern, eastern, central and western – and it was from each of these zones that the first six councils were chosen. However, going forward, two zones would be done at a time, until all 30 Councils had been selected.
He reiterated that the Constituency Councils would not be another layer of Government, but would be the avenue through which the public would be able to participate in the decision-making process in their various constituencies.
“What they [Constituency Councils] are intended to do is to be a deliberative forum that allows residents to identify issues that need tackling in their constituencies. hey will provide them [constituencies] with the opportunity to receive small amounts of money to tackle some of those issues, and to work ostensibly with Government departments to focus on those issues, and to help resolve them in the community,” Mr. Sinckler stressed.