Local government entrenchment bill tabled
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
With Local Government elections due next March, the Portia Simpson Miller-led government is moving to amend the constitution to include local government.
A bill, which will pave the way for reform has been tabled in the House of Representatives.
The bill is in keeping with a report of a 1995 joint select committee recommendation that certain public offices and institutions be included in the Constitution.
If approved by Parliament and passed into law, it will allow local authorities to generate and spend their own funds, and prescribe any matter relating to the governance of such local authorities.
The bill states that the purpose of local government should be to encourage and assist the effective participation of local communities in the affairs of local government.
In addition, the bill proposes that local authorities be given the ability to provide local public services and facilities and to carry out other related activities for the benefit of local communities and the wider public.
Local authorities are also to be given the ability to perform regulatory functions to facilitate the management, improvement and development of resources of local communities.
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