First district council picked

| 15/09/2011

(CNS): The first advisory district council to be appointed under the government’s recent legislation, which does not allow for a public vote, has been approved by the Cabinet. The premier made the announcement in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, saying the seven members had been selected as a result of two district meetings but the opposition had failed to make any recommendations for the council, despite being asked twice. PPM leader Alden McLaughlin told CNS that this was a deliberate boycott as the opposition disagrees fundamentally with the way the government has decided to approach what should be independent local bodies offering advice to MLAs aboutthe community’s needs, not political rubber stamps.

During his statement in the LA, Bush said that he was well aware the opposition leader didn’t like the way the advisory councils are set up but it was now the law and he was not in a position to flout it.

The premier revealed that the members of the district council that will serve his constituency and offer advice to him and his Cabinet colleague Rolston Anglin, as well as back bench representatives Capt Eugene Ebanks and Cline Glidden, were nominated in meetings held by the four UDP West Bay members of the Legislative Assembly in March.

The chair is Darlene Glidden, vice chair is Cora Grant-James, the secretary Eziethamae Bodden, treasurer Clinton Hunter and ordinary members include Carson Denny Ebanks, Ivan Farrington and Tammy Welds.

Bush said that although the opposition leader was invited to submit nominations at the time of the meetings and again in May, no recommendations had been submitted.

“The view taken was that government should wait no longer and risk losing the interest of the community,” the premier said as he revealed the members and said he would again ask the leader of the opposition to submit recommendations.

“It is a requirement of the Constitution … that these councils be established,” Bush said. “I did not make this up; and while I know that the opposition does not agree with how the advisory district councils are to be set up, it is now the law of the land. Not the leader of the opposition, not myself, none of us are at liberty to flout the law.”

Speaking on Thursday after the parliament was adjourned, McLaughlin said that the opposition did not support the way government had decided to establish the committees, which “runs counter to the spirit” of the original intent. McLaughlin said the objective had been to create councils that could give MLAs advice that was not political.

“What the government has created is party political councils weighted extremely heavily in favour of government and extensions of the UDP… We are not going to participate in them,” he said, as he explained that the failure of the PPM to make nominations was a legitimate protest in the face of government’s decision to politicise what should have been independent bodies.

During his speech, Bush said the public was required to actively participate in order to strengthen “peace, order and good government in this country,” as he pointed out that the councils were required “to canvass opinion and do independent research on their own volition,” so as to give advice to the elected members. He also said the councils should “review and seek input on policies and programmes proposed” by their MLAs, who in turn were meant to consider the advice.

Encouraging other members of the Legislative Assembly to move forward with their appointment of councils, the premier said the George Town members had started the process but he said the MLAs should put in more energy as the possible benefits were considerable.

The independent member for North Side also opposed the way government opted to make the councils appointed predominately by government and the failure to take into account that the Legislative Assembly has an independent member and talked only about the ruling and opposing political parties. Having already established his own democratically elected district council in North Side immediately after elections, Ezzard Miller says he intends to keep taking advise from that local body.

He has said it will be down to the government to create another council under non-democratic terms if it chooses, but Miller said he was very happy with the advise he receives from his constituents, whom he consults regularly and who were voted on to the North Side district council.

See premier’s full statement on advisory councils below.

Category: Politics

Comments (27)

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  1. Mrs. J. Ebanks-Bodden says:

    This is insane.

  2. Shock and Awe says:

    Let met get this for a moment.  People elect a representative for their constituency.  They are very highly paid in wages, pensions, free health care, perks, etc. for this they are supposed to carry the wishes of the people in their consituency forward to government.  But, because they are purely politicians they aren't quite sure what the people they supposedly represent want or need. 

    Then…. to solve this…. District Councils are formed. Made up of ordinary citizens.

    To advise or remind the aforementioned highly paid politicians of what the people want or require.

    Hmmm

    What a great idea!!!

    I can also see some savings here.

    Should we???

    I mean…….fire the whole useless lot?

    • Anonymous says:

      Check your constitution and you will see that district councils are now called for. Beleive that the PPM were the main authors  of the constituion.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What I see happenin issss…pure…unadulterated…dictatorship,

    What I see happenin issss…

  4. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand…isn’t this what the MLAs are elected for – to represent and seek input from their constituents?

  5. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    Welcome rubber stampers, thanks for ushering in a new era of UDP cronyism!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, please. The PPM did the same thing. Put their supporters everywhere and removed the UDP supporters. It's nothing new!

  6. Anonymous says:

    LMAO this is too funny well not really all but every single one of them is UDP  BIG supporter . Wa about the rest of us no body bayas.

    • Anonymous says:

      BoBo, Before you judge the members so harshly, who are very decent West Bayers by the way, why don't you first approach them with your concerns and see how they react to you personally.

      After all, their responsibility is only to advise the MLAs based on community feedback, the council itself has no power.

      I beleive they will do a good job; however, it all depends on what the MLAs do with the feed that is  passed on to them.

      I know Cora Grant as an acquaintance only, and despite her political leanings, which we all know is UDP she is one cool dude. She interact with everybody in WB, including independents, PPM and UDP supporters . She is one down to earth lady with a heart of gold.

      She mixes with the has beens, the want to bees,   and the have nots. Now tell me, how many prominent ladies in West Bay do you really see doing that. The majority drive around the district in thier expensive cars with thier heads so high in the air its a wonder they can see where they are going.

      Go Kora, and be sure to run in this election.  And like I have told you many times before, You have my support although I am not a UDP supporter at all!

       

       

       

    • Anonymous says:

      15:49 – you don't know people as well as you think you do!

  7. Anonymous says:

    3civil servants and one does not live in West Bay.

  8. Anonymous says:

    "None of us are at liberty to flout the law."  –  McKeeva Bush.

     

  9. Anonymous says:

    The town halls in each district belong to the people. Ordinary citizens are quite capable of calling meetings to discuss issues in their communities without politicians running the show. True community leaders do not have to have titles or be elected. Such meetings would be far more productive and infuential if done on a regular basis with large community participation. Two neigbors may be from two different poilitical parties, but their problems are often the same. Both can work together to solve their common problems without getting political about it.

     

    We need to redefine leadership and what it takes to truly lead. Community organizers are the true leaders. Most citizens will talk each other blue in the face about issues but never act because they just don't know where to begin. This is where a community organizer comes in . He or she organizes thoughts, and solutions to problems with the community. Most are willing to participate, but need a time, a place and agenda in order to act. Politics does not and should not have anything to do with this process.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Here they go again…meanwhile Rome burns

  11. AnonymousSick and Tired of the B...S... says:

    “None of us are at liberty to flout the law” – so sayeth Beloved Leader. What a pity that he did not recognize that maxim in relation to the production, for review by the Auditor General, of finanancial statements for ALL government departments and, particularly, those of his own Ministry of Finance. Perhaps a loosely analogous example of – “One law for the Rich and one for the Poor”.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This seems like a decent bunch of people out of the heart of West Bay; well respected and people who will mostly likely advise the MLAs according to the feed back received. I for one look forward to meeting with them. I'm neither UDP or PPM. I expect them to be professional and treat me like an ordinary citizen. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Stupid idea, no real function, staffed by the usual suspects

  14. Anonymous says:

    I didn't know that Civil Servants were allowed to sit on these councils. Are they still suppose to be neutral?

  15. Stroke the Ego says:

    Bush said: “Not the leader of the opposition, not myself, none of us are at liberty to flout the law.”

    Translation: "Do as I say, not as I do!"

     

     

     

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    "Not the leader of the opposition, not myself, none of us are at liberty to flout the law.” – the 'Honourable' Premier

    LOL> LMAO>LMFAO>ROTFL- ahaaaaahaaaahaaaaa

    Oh gosh – I think I just busted something.

    NOW he decides following the law is important?

    OH LORD! His scriptwriter has a flair for comedy – hoooooo! Funny stuff.

    • Anonymous says:

      yes of course its very important for other people. Remember, he's above the law!

  17. BODDEN TOWN DC COUNCIL says:

    I do hope The district council in Bodden Town is chosen wisely, and no family members.   I do hope you John, John and Mark and Anthony do the right thing.  Because this district has no one to go to now.  We do not even know where the office for District council is.  Mark and John John failure.

  18. Anonymous says:

    SMH.  SMH. SMH. Speechless!

    How undemocratic considering these councils were supposed to be independent in the first place.  The only reason "its now law and" (for once) "he is not in a position to flout it" is because, rather conveniently, he and his cronies made the law for their own convenience it would seem.  But I guess they thought we'd all forgot: http://centos6-httpd22-php56-mysql55.installer.magneticone.com/o_belozerov/31115drupal622/headline-news/2011/01/11/district-democracy-dashed

    Pure dictatorial leadership.  Deplorable.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I would really like for Mr. Alden to shw  me or anyone else, which Committe these days that are formed, that is not politically motived or run. They are all politically motivated by one side or the other.

    • Anonymous says:

      A district council is not a mere "committee". It should be a good representation of the community.