Government aims to keep its promise to launch the first six Constituency Councils early next month.??Word of this came from Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, Christopher Sinckler.

In explaining the time it has taken to have the Councils up and running, he said: ???We had to wait on the regulations. These are the provisions by which people are actually selected. All of the rules governing how people are chosen to sit on the Councils had to be put into law. Regulations do not come in the legislation; they have to be written separately. So, the legislation passed in Parliament, earlier this year, even though it gave legal effect, it did not give complete effect to the process of selection.?????

Mr. Sinckler revealed that this process had now been completed and Cabinet had given its approval.?????We expect that very soon these regulations would be laid in Parliament.??Of course, they don???t have to be debated… All we need to do is notify Parliament and lay them by Negative Resolution. Then, once that is done, the process of selection will begin,??? the Minister declared.??

Pointing out that a lot of work had been done to prepare the team that would choose the persons to sit on the Councils, he said that it had brought them to a stage where they ???just need to make the actual selections.?????Once that has happened, those will come to the Minister for approval…Then we can begin to notify persons,??? Mr. Sinckler stated.?????We anticipate that we should give people at least two weeks, so that they can receive and accept their appointments,??? he added.

The Minister also mentioned that the other 24 Councils should come on stream shortly afterwards. ???We have already received nominations for Councils that have not even been advertised. We have received them for St. George North, St. Michael South East, St. Philip North, and Christ Church East Central. So, nominations have been coming in, even though we have not issued a call for such. Those will remain valid and go into the system for consideration,??? he noted. ??

According to him, the process for the remaining 24 Councils should progress rapidly, since the nominations would involve two zones being considered at a time, with each zone consisting of six constituencies.??

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