Deputy MoBay mayor to lead Jamaican delegation to local gov’t conference in Barbados
Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon

ST JAMES, Jamaica — Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon is now in Bridgetown, Barbados, leading a Jamaican delegation to a joint regional conference of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

The conference which is supported by the European Union is also being attended by Councillor for the Cornwall Mountain Division of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation, Dawnette Foster and Councillor for the Stony Hill Division of the KSAMC, Torsha Shwapp.

Some 75 delegates are in attendance at the conference, representing countries with sub-national systems of government such as Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago.

“The conference will provide the opportunity for delegates to exchange on key issues facing local government in the Caribbean such as the ongoing social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic, local government’s role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and building resilience in the face of climate and economic shocks. The first day of the conference will hold two day-long parallel sessions,” Deputy Mayor Vernon said.

He added that women in local government will also be a topic of discussion looking at “the framework of CLGF’s Commonwealth Women in Local Government Network (ComWLG), on women’s political inclusion and the other on municipal financial management delivered in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), as part of the wider CLGF/CDB project”.

Vernon said the conference will provide an opportunity for regional exchange and for the setting of priorities for ongoing work in the Caribbean, as well as provide members with an overview of the priorities for key donors and partners.

The main objectives of the conference are to disseminate the outcomes and lessons learnt from the CLGF Regional Programme 2019- 2022; to reflect on women’s political inclusion in the Caribbean and the wider Commonwealth and explore strategies to increase women’s representation and voice in local government; to explore the role of local government in post COVID recovery and agree on key priorities for CLGF in the region; to reflect on the impact of climate change and the need to prioritise sustainable urbanisation in the region to ensure local government is in a position to play its full role in providing inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable communities; to better understand the capacity needs with regard to public financial management within local government in the Caribbean; to dialogue with development partners in the region and develop strategies and partnerships to mobilise resources and programming commitments for the sector.

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