Georgetown, Guyana – (November 3, 2018) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon last night reiterated Government’s commitment to continue working with the residents of the Essequibo Islands- West Demerara Region (Region Three) to further develop that Region.
Minister Harmon was at the time speaking at a community meeting held at Pouderoyen, Region Three.
“We have the confidence in you the people, that you understand what it is to run your communities, we are not going to sit down and determine what your communities want, you are the persons that will determine that, you are the persons that know what your community wants and we will help you to craft programs, we will help you to craft projects and we will work with you,” he said.
The Minister of State encouraged the residents to use local governance to enhance the development of their communities. He pointed to government’s many achievements while reminding that it was through the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) government that local democracy was returned after a 22-year hiatus.
“That is what Local Government is all about… they denied us until we came into office and when we came into office our President said in May of 2015 we must have Local Government Elections… Along the West Demerara we have been working in the communities, I walk with you in some of these communities and I see the way in which people are responding to you and I know that you will not let them down,” said Minister Harmon who pointed to the upcoming November 12, 2018 Local Government Elections (LGE).
Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Ms. Annette Ferguson said the concept of Local Government is aimed at restoring power at the community level. She reminded that there are three tiers of government, local, regional and central while emphasising the need for the three tiers to work together for the common good.
“Our role is to ensure that policies are implemented… then there is the Regional Administration and they too have their responsibilities within the Region, this brings me to the final tear of governance, local governance. Within the communities you have issues with your drains and lights and it is the responsibility of the local elected officials who should ensure that these things are taken care of,” Ms. Ferguson said.
Local Government Elections were held in March 2016, some 11 months after the coalition government took office in May 2015.