What does your councillor do for you?

Written by Jermaine Evans

For as long as most Jamaicans can remember elections have been a part of our life. We as Jamaicans however, have sometimes taken elections too seriously and end up doing thing we have come to regret. Through the years, elections have brought a form of pitch-black darkness over the island called crime.

Even with the amount of support we give to politics, many Jamaicans still don’t know the roles of the political representatives in our communities.

With Local Government Elections underway JamaicaElections.com has made it our duty to educate the public about what they should expect from the various councillors in their area. The following is a documentation of the core functions and duties of councillors in Jamaica:

  • To collectively ensure, with other Councilors, that mandated responsibilities of the Council are properly executed;
  • To have collective responsibility for management of the affairs of the parish, including that available resources are utilized in the most cost-effective way to address the needs of citizens/communities, and towards the holistic development of the parish;
  • To provide political leadership towards forging consensus among all stakeholders in the parish in respect to local policy options and development objectives, and to mobilize public support for decisions/initiatives of the Council;
  • To effectively represent the citizens and communities of the Division for which he/she has been elected.
  • To spearhead and facilitate community initiatives towards their own development, and the forging of strong linkages between the council and the local communities.

The Parish Council Act sets out the qualifications for a councillor in Jamaica. Under the act no individual shall be qualified to be elected, or take office, or have the right to vote as a member of the Parish Council in any Parish if:

1. That person is less than 18 years old or is not able to read and write English;

2. That person is not registered in the Parish he/she is seeking representation;

3. That person is bankrupt and has not been discharged by the courts or creditors of these debts;

4. That person is subject to the Civil Service Establishment Act;

5. That person is promoting his/her financial interest in business deals with any Parish Council;

6. That person is a member of the House of Representatives.

7. The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) requires that the person must have established residence for twelve months immediately before the day of election.

For more information on matters concerning Local Government contact the Office of the Prime Minister:
Local Government (Communications Department)
85 Hagley Park Road
Kingston 10
Jamaica W.I.
Tele: (876) 754-0992-9
Fax: (876) 754-1011
Web: www.jis.gov.jm

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