The Constituency Council programme is relevant and provides the necessary medium to improve the lives of persons living in Barbados.
|Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, addresses the installation ceremony for phase two of the??Constituency Councils at Almond Bay in??Christ Church. (C.Pitt/BGIS)??|
This view was expressed by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, as he addressed the installation ceremony for phase two of the Constituency Councils, at Almond Bay, over the weekend.
The Minister explained that the programme was designed to "focus on the unearthing and stimulation of intrinsic projects identified by members of constituencies out of observed needs, at the constituency level, which were aimed at building social capital and development".
He further pointed out that the Councils existed to answer the call for "a more targeted and strategic approach to community work", and stressed that "in this Constituency empowerment process the communities must always come first".
Minister Blackett alluded to suggestions that there should be cut backs on social spending and that the Constituency Council programme should be abolished due to the current recession. Opposing these views, he stated that: "In a recession the people who need help the most are the people who have always needed help; in fact they will need more help."
He also noted that in order to strengthen the economy "there is a need to ensure that all persons are enabled to be productive members of our society".
Reaffirming that his Ministry does not subscribe to the view that there should be limited provision of assistance during a recession, the Social Care Minister asserted: "We will continue to help people in Barbados who need a "hand-up" in order to cope with, and overcome, the situations that they face in their day-to-day lives."