McKenzie says he is not shutting down parish councils
Jovan Johnson, Parliamentary Reporter
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie has responded to critics saying he is not "shutting down" parish councils in his ministry's crusade against corruption at the local level.
"This administration has no intention of shutting down local government. We are going to strengthen local government," he told the House of Representatives this afternoon.
McKenzie has been criticised for his handling of reports of the Office of the Contractor General which have pointed to allegations of corruption in the Hanover Parish Council.
Following one of the reports, McKenzie ordered that all documents in the council be secured for his ministry, which has legal powers over all parish councils.
IN PHOTO: Former Lucea Mayor Lloyd Hill
Speaking today, McKenzie said local government has been "shaken and battered" by the findings of reports.
"This administration will not stand aside and allow breaches to continue," he said.
McKenzie also said a number of measures will be taken including the implementation of audit committees in the 13 councils to improve performance.
In the most recent high profile case, Lloyd Hill and Anthony Walker, People's National Party councillors in the Hanover council were accused of awarding contracts to family members and political affiliates.
The development came as former council chairman and Lucea mayor Shernet Haughton continued her court appearance on similar OCG allegations.