Just in time for the 49th independence celebrations, 120 constituency council members from 12 constituencies across the island were sworn in for a two-year term today.
Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development Steve Blackett reminded representatives of the importance of their roles at the ceremony held at the Department of Constituency Empowerment in Warrens, St Michael.
“The Constituency Empowerment Program, remains one of the pivotal programs in Barbados for effecting change within our communities, and this undertaking is critical especially in the current climate of rampant and intense social, economic and technological change,” Blackett said.
He warned the councillors that their roles “require the highest level of commitment” to improving the conditions of their fellow citizens, and the purpose of the program was to the create change across the country, starting with their own communities.
“Patriotism must not be trivialized and cannot be exaggerated enough, bearing this in mind, let me remind each councillor being sworn in this morning of the great significance of the oath you are taking today.”
Blackett acknowledged the achievements of constituency council members such as the David Thompson Memorial Football Classic, despite the lack of funding given to the for constituency councils, and stated he will be requesting an increase to the allotted funding to the constituency councils.
“I will requisition the Minister of finance in this year’s estimates to allocate increased funding for the department so that we can realistically execute the program to the councils as mandated by the Act back in 2009,” Blackett told the councilors.
He added, that his ministry would be “making a push this year…to see how best that we can achieve the $100,000 for each constituency council so that we can pursue the goals of the council”. (KK)