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Take proactive approach to disaster preparedness, Holness urges local gov't

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness has charged local government representatives to take a proactive approach in dealing with disaster preparedness and to use its resources creatively to “serve the people effectively and efficiently”.

Holness, who was addressing the inaugural Local Government Conference in Montego Bay, St James yesterday, appealed to the municipal corporations to begin engagement at the community level, noting that Central Government is ready to assist with preparedness for natural disasters.

“I appeal, I urge the municipal corporations to start engaging at that level. The Central Government will support. We will do the national advertising campaign that will reinforce the message that you deliver on the ground but nothing beats the message that you deliver on the ground to the people that elected you,” said Holness.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said the local government is not a lesser form of government and is subsequently subjected to the same national standards of accountability and responsiveness, and is expected to deliver the highest quality of service.

“Any agency of the state that is charged with administering the public's resources must meet the highest standard of accountability and responsiveness. As mayors and local representatives, you are the political first responders; you are generally the first member of the political class with whom citizens will interact. You represent Jamaica, community by community, house by house, person by person in the smallest divisible unit politically, that our constitution allows. You know every citizen, name by name, alias by alias or at least you should.

"Therefore, your interactions with the citizens will form their first impressions and indeed it will form their perception of the state,” Holness said.

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