Work­ing with com­mu­nity mem­bers to build our na­tion

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT -

I AM pleased to join in ob­serv­ing Lo­cal Govern­ment and Com­mu­nity Month 2016, be­ing cel­e­brated with the theme: ‘Re­build­ing Civic Pride in Your Com­mu­nity and Mine’.

The com­mu­nity is an im­por­tant unit in our so­ci­ety. As such, the fos­ter­ing of civic pride in all com­mu­ni­ties is an ur­gent task for all in­di­vid­u­als. I use this op­por­tu­nity to com­mend all the per­sons and groups who have con­tin­ued to give ser­vice to Ja­maica through civic-minded com­mu­nity in­volve­ment. Lo­cal Govern­ment and Com­mu­nity Month pro­vides an ex­cel­lent back­drop against which to high­light the valu­able work of the many vol­un­teers, clubs, as­so­ci­a­tions and other in­di­vid­u­als and groups who pro­vide ster­ling ser­vice in com­mu­ni­ties across Ja­maica. Their self­less ef­forts pro­vide im­por­tant ser­vice to many.

Sus­tain­able com­mu­nity devel­op­ment re­quires the par­tic­i­pa­tion of all per­sons in the af­fairs of the com­mu­nity. Par­tic­i­pa­tion is vi­tal to en­sur­ing that com­mu­ni­ties are equipped with the nec­es­sary ser­vices, op­por­tu­ni­ties and so­cial and eco­nomic in­fra­struc­ture for the devel­op­ment of peo­ple and their en­vi­rons.

At the same time, the ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive of our sys­tem of Lo­cal Govern­ment must be the cre­ation of strong, vi­brant com­mu­ni­ties that are safe and which pro­vide the op­por­tu­ni­ties for so­cial and eco­nomic ad­vance­ment of the peo­ple. The Op­po­si­tion that I lead has a proud and dis­tin­guished record, not only of com­mit­ment to com­mu­nity devel­op­ment, but also unswerv­ing sup­port for strong Lo­cal Govern­ment that de­liv­ers tan­gi­ble and pos­i­tive ser­vices and op­por­tu­ni­ties for the peo­ple.

The Op­po­si­tion re­mains com­mit­ted to na­tional devel­op­ment through strong com­mu­ni­ties and a vi­brant, ef­fec­tive and fair Lo­cal Govern­ment sys­tem. On the im­por­tant oc­ca­sion of Lo­cal Govern­ment and Com­mu­nity Month 2016, we re­it­er­ate our con­tin­ued be­lief in, and sup­port for

an ef­fec­tive Lo­cal Govern­ment sys­tem that serves the in­ter­est of all Ja­maicans.

We urge all Ja­maicans to use the oc­ca­sion of Lo­cal Govern­ment and Com­mu­nity Month to strengthen their re­solve to mak­ing their in­di­vid­ual and col­lec­tive con­tri­bu­tion to the build­ing of a bet­ter Ja­maican through full par­tic­i­pa­tion and en­gage­ment in the devel­op­ment of our com­mu­ni­ties. Best wishes for a suc­cess­ful month of ac­tiv­i­ties. Por­tia Simp­son Miller Leader of the Op­po­si­tion

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