Eight individuals are now charged with the responsibility of governing the affairs of the communities of Trafalgar Shawford and Fond Canie for the next three years as the communities held their 7th Inaugural Village Council Meeting on Monday, February 29th, 2016.
Addressing the ceremony, then Acting Prime Minister and Hon Minister for Youth Sports and Constituency Empowerment, Justina Charles commended villagers for the active collaboration between the council and Government and encouraged more participation among organizations.
"I commend the council for the manner in which they collaborated with central government to facilitate the community component of the National Employment Program and road improvement program in the communites among others. As Government, we will seek to strengthen this collaboration. I applaud you for your many youth empowerment activities and encourage you to continue in this regard. The role of the Local Government Authoritiy in our community is much more dynamic and diverse, thus the need for all stakeholders to join hands and to work together as a team," she said.
Re-elected Chairperson, Joanne Bellot gave a recap of some of the accomplishments of the council.
"For the past three years we have been pleading for more community spirit among villagers. Despite the council's limited funds we were able to implement a number of projects and social events in the communities such as of drains and others."
Street lights, the reorganization of the scholarship program and creation of a Youth Summer Program were also part of the council's accomplishments.
She thanked all community members who made the last term of the village council a success.
MP for the Roseau Valley, Hon. Dr. John Collin McIntyre pledged his full support to the incoming council.
"I want to wish this council well. This council as i mentioned is a very good council and I am saying this because they have worked. Although we live close to the Roseau area we are still trying to create opportunities for our people in the Roseau Valley.
"I would like to plegde my full support to you and I appreciate your understanding of local and central government."
Hon. .Minister for Social Services Family and Gender Affairs, Catherine Daniel, says she views inauguration ceremonies as an indication that governance at the local level continues to thrive in Dominica which fares well for the countries development.
"Local authorites have the responsiblity for the good governance of the communities which they represent. This mandate is in the ordinance Chapter 190 of the Revised Laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica. I charge every council in Dominica to take this responsibilty seriously."
She had this message for the new councillors.
"The development of Trafalgar, Shawford and Fond Canie must be your priority. You must have one common objective for your communities. I must stress that good governance allows for the participation of all stakeholders begining with the residents whom you serve. I cannot overemphasize the importance of maintainig good relations with members of the community and involving them in affairs of the Council particularly in the area of decision making."
The Minister notes that collaboration with ngos, community-based organizations, the public sector, donor agonies and community groups is essential to any council's success and pledged her Ministry's full support to the new council.
The newly-inaugurated council consists of Joanne Bellot, Martel Daniel, Bernika Allan, Marcus Johnson, Steven Dangleben, Bobby Frederick Jefferson St. Ville and Barbara Barry.