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Implementation of Local Government Reforms Gathers Momentum

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Contact: John Emmanuel 

Wednesday, February 06, 2002 – Efforts to re-introduce local government on the island have entered a heightened stage with a series of community meetings being held over the next two months throughout the length and breadth of St. Lucia. Community Development Officers attached to the Ministry of Social Transformation, Culture and Local Government have begun holding talks with key stakeholders on their role in the process.

Assistant Director for Community Services and Local Government Fortuna Belrose says a Green Paper on local government has been prepared and the Task Force charged with overseeing the process is getting ready to move to the next phase.

“We are very serious about local government within the Ministry. I think the issue for us as a nation now is for persons to be able to work together to determine their own destinies. I think Government is very committed to that and so over the next two months there will be a lot of hype about the programme,” explained Belrose.

She expects that coming out of the community meetings at the end of April, persons will be selected from each community to assist in the preparation for the election process for the local government councils. Ministry personnel are working feverishly to have the local government machinery up and ready-to-go towards the end of 2002. Efforts towards re-vamping local government began here in 1999.

According to Mrs. Belrose the process has taken this long because an issue like local government has to be discussed in detail because it about changing the way we operate and do things in the country.

Local Government reform seeks to decentralize central government by empowering communities to take decisions on their future that would improve their way of life.


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