February 4, 2005
Local government commission hits rural areas

The Local Government Commission has continued its series of consultations on the reintroduction of local government to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Delegations from the local government Commission met with residents of Richland Park and Brighton on the 25 and 26 January respectively to discuss with them probable ways of reintroducing local government to their community.{{more}}

At the Richland Park Primary School, Liley Cato, a member of the Commission outlined the meaning of local government and ways in which members of the community could contribute to the final summary report. He also explained to them that it was important that they voiced their opinions as to whether their community needs local government, since it would affect their lives.

While some residents said they did not see a need for Local Governance the majority attending the consultation expressed the desire to see its reintroduction. It was stated that in past years Richland Park could attest to having seen the tremendous benefits that can be derived from having Local Government in their community.

During the discussions, residents expressed various areas of concern in relation to the setting up of the local government body including the selection process, the amount of power that would be given to it, the allocation of funds to the council and the role of Central Government once established. Some expressed the desire to have Local Governance enshrined in the constitution of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Various ideas came out of the Brighton meeting, including the naming of streets in the area, extra lighting for the community, the management of drains and that the local government act be placed in the Constitution so as to prevent any Government of the day to change it.

The Commission has been mandated to examine and critically review the system or structure which exists for the delivery of services to the public at the local level through the Ministry of Social Development and Local Government and its institutional agencies, Kingstown Board, other town Boards and the various village or District Councils throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines.