Heightened citizen involvement in local governance promised as Chair, Deputy elected to Local Gov’t Commission

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Former Region Three chairman Julius Faerber has been elected Chairman of the Local Government Commission (LGC) when the body held its first statutory meeting on Monday while Norman Whittaker, former Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, was elected Deputy Chairman.

Speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI) after, Faerber said he plans to rectify several issues that occurred while the Commission was inoperative last year.

He said that while the Commission has its work cut out, they intend to ensure the services provided to citizens are of high quality.

“We, at the Commission level, are going to ensure that training is provided for the staff in those local bodies so that they can, in turn, ensure that they have the requisite knowledge and expertise to provide the services required in those communities,” the Chairman said.

To this end, Faerber said he looks forward to working together with every local organ to achieve this feat.

“The end users of those services must be satisfied with the performance of those local organs, and so we will work to have these bodies trained and to have them deliver the type of services that our people require,” he added.

Members of the Local Government Commission (LGC)

Mr. Whittaker agreed with the LGC Chairman’s sentiments.

“I was fortunate enough to have served with the Commission for the first three years, which ended in October 2020 and during these three years, I can speak of some amount of improvement in terms of the services they provided, but in the same breath, I can identify a lot of shortcomings and these are what our Commission will deal with.”

One of those shortcomings is the lack of residents’ involvement in their communities’ development which the Deputy Chairman said they hope to change.

During the swearing-in ceremony on April 12, President Ali said his Government values the “important role” which the LGC will play to ensure policies and programmes are implemented without any issue.

“Government, therefore, endorses the need for, and the constituting of, the Local Government Commission. As such, this simple ceremony brims with importance. It is a manifestation of Government’s commitment to advancing the aims and objectives of local government authorities and, specifically, to addressing the employment, transfer, disciplining, and dismissal of public officers within the local government system and the resolving of disputes within and between local government entities.”

The LGC will oversee over 70 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and 10 municipalities. [Extracted and modified from the Department of Public Information]

 

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