Chairman of the St. James Municipal Corporation and Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis has given the assurance that the Salt Spring and Catadupa Divisions of the Corporation will not be neglected despite their local government representatives being disqualified from office.
Mayor Davis’ assurance comes following the disqualification of now former Councillors Sylvan Reid and Gladstone Bent of the Salt Spring and Catadupa Divisions respectively.
The gentlemen were disqualified on Thursday, June 11, 2020, after it was revealed that they failed to attend three consecutive regular meetings of the Corporation without approval as stipulated under Section 30 (1) (b) of the Local Governance Act.
Mayor Davis said he has given instructions for the Parish Development Committee, PDC, an arm of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, to immediately take the necessary steps to meet with community groups in both divisions to ascertain the needs of the divisions and to ensure that projects and programme which are in place continue without delay.
He added that “support for the divisions does not have to come from or through a political representative. The Ministry of Local Government (and Community Development) has agencies such as the CDC and the Social Development Commission which are tasked with the responsibility of creating and implementing programmes to meet the needs of citizens and therefore the time is perfect for them to get totally involved in Salt Spring and Catadupa”.
Mayor Davis said he has also instructed the PDC to meet with all the stakeholders including the St. James Municipal Corporation to get an update on projects which been undertaken in the divisions as well as those which are due for implementation shortly.
“These projects are funded by the St. James Municipal Corporation and the Ministry of Local Government and it is important for them to continue. The citizens of the divisions deserve them and despite their local government representative being disqualified, there should be no disruption”, Mayor Davis said.
The Parish Development Committee is a non-partisan community-based organization and under the Local Governance Act, PDCs are now an integral part of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, with the Social Development Commission (SDC) functioning as the facilitator and regulator of all Committees.
On the other hand the SDC is mandated to monitor and audit each committee to ensure their adherence to the stipulated operational guidelines. The SDC also administers the Parish Development Committee Grant which was established to support the PDCs’ administrative functions.