(From left to right) Director of Constituency Empowerment, Kirk Humphrey Assistant Director of Social Policy, Lee Rose Project Coordinator in the Department of Constituency Empowerment, Melissa Browne Programme Assistant, Stephanie Burgess Driver of Ministry of Social Care, constituencyu Empowerment and Community Development.

The final 12 Constituency Councils will be launched on Saturday, March 26.

This disclosure came from Director of Constituency Empowerment, Kirk Humphrey, during a recent tour of the office of the St. Philip West and St. Philip South Constituency Councils, at Rices, St. Philip.

Mr. Humphrey stated that the introduction of this last "batch" would signal the end of the implementation phase and the Department would be going "full steam ahead" towards constituency empowerment.

"We launched the first six and we wanted to get an idea of how the councils would work…As we were learning from [those], we went on to launch another 12. Therefore, the issues we had with the first six were corrected with the second set… In a sense, the 18 have almost been a pilot. We believe, then, that we wouldn’t have any issues with the last 12," the Constituency Empowerment Director asserted.

In expressing his satisfaction with the work of the existing councils, Mr. Humphrey highlighted some of the programmes which were established, noting that there was much focus on the youth.

"We’ve seen a number of youth projects. The public has been asking for educational programmes for the young people preparing for the Common Entrance Exam, so we’ve seen a lot of the councils addressing that…To my mind, one of the more important things is working with the young people; going on blocks that are normally considered to be challenged areas and are normally outside the reach of the traditional public service, and working with those young people towards finding solutions to problems which they have," he said.

The Director stressed, however, the need to implement programmes for elderly men. "The councils have to find a way to reach them, because clearly they are not in the mainstream of anything and they still operate at the sidelines…," he maintained.??


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