NATION

Local Government Forum Priority Plan

Local government is the crucible in which complex processes of development, governance, transformation and living standards become vibrant, says Parveen Kumar. The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment said
28 Dec 2014 10:47
Local Government Forum Priority Plan

Local government is the crucible in which complex processes of development, governance, transformation and living standards become vibrant, says Parveen Kumar.

The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment said this while opening the two-day Local Government Forum at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka last week. The forum is aimed at preparing the municipalities for next year.

“This is the space in which our children grow to adulthood, where our talents are shaped, our institutions operate and our well-being determined,” he said.

Mr Kumar said organisations and forms of local governments that operated at the grassroots and community levels played an important role in making municipalities successful.

“Liveable communities are not just about their physical attributes, but also about cohesiveness, sense of ownership, volunteerism, self-help and other attributes of the society.”

He said in the next few years Fiji would experience more urbanisation in the various municipalities creating new opportunities and challenges at the same time.

“One common challenge is to achieve a good balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability,” he said.

“No growth can be sustainable if we neglect the environment, neither can there be environmental sustainability without economic growth.

Mr Kumar outlined a number of strategies for the 13 municipalities to meet service needs through;

–  Building clean, effective, efficient, responsive and accountable local government;

– Improving the performance and professionalism in municipalities;

– Improving national and provincial policy, oversight and support;

– Strengthening partnerships between local governments, communities and civil society;

“By reviewing and removing rules that inhibit healthy growth and investment, we are demonstrating a commitment to a high performance economy that is good for business and the country,” he said.

Clean your boundaries

Mr Kumar also reiterated that all municipal councils around the country will carry out three rounds of cleaning up next year. He said this was needed to crack down on any potential outbreaks of diseases.

Mr Bala will also be reaching out to the National Fire Authority to assist various municipal councils in the clean up.

Mr Kumar said: “The municipal councils have been instructed to undertake this three stage cleaning up. We do not want to have any instances of disease outbreaks anywhere and the municipal councils will need to take the lead in this regard.

“We have to start somewhere and the seriousness of this matter has been enforced upon the councils.”

Mr Kumar has also stated that the cleaning up of town boundaries will not cost the ratepayers anything.

He said that while the Local Government Ministry and respective councils will do this themselves, assistance will also be sought from the non-governmental organisations if the need arises.

The forum was held at Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka last week.

Feedback: sheik.dean@fijisun.com.fj

 



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