I read with great interest newspaper articles dealing with the local government Reform Consultations. I was honestly taken back when I read that the Regional Corporations have been able to draw down 80% of their money under the Public Sector Investment Program for 2012/13, and more so the revelation that some Corporations had completed most of their Development Program and this in the first six months.
I must admit as a member of the staff of one of the Southern based Regional Corporation that this is unprecedented. This gives a lie to the often made complaint that local government is inefficient. What has happened in 2012/13 is the introduction of new leadership with the appointment of Suruj Rambachan as the Minister of Local Government. Mr. Rambachan has brought new energy and purposefulness to his Ministerial duties and has been inspiring both the Councillors and Staff to do better.
When he visited my Corporation, he was business-like and tough but fair in terms of what he wanted from the Corporations. He praised where praise was due and admonished where this was necessary. This did not please certain Councillors at my Corporation but now they have begun to see and identify with his vision for better quality services, better communities and stronger Councils. What was interesting to me and my colleagues was the fact that when he admonished he also mentored and gave suggestions for improvements. While there still remains a lot to be done in terms of attitudes and productivity of Corporations, a definite change is being witnessed.
I will like to take this opportunity to suggest to Mr. Rambachan that he looks into the following at all Corporations:
- Alcoholism and its impact upon productivity
- Management and productive use of vehicles
- Value for money spent especially with the paving of roads and building of box drains
- Arrival and departure times for all level of workers
- Quality of customer service delivered at Corporations including follow ups to the requests of Burgesses
I look forward to attending the Consultations and wish every success to the goodly Minister as he attempts to get a real paradigm shift and attitudinal change.
Longdenville Old Road,