“As Minister of Local Government, I note with disappointment the baseless statement by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley regarding his misguided plan to disband the Ministry of Local Government should he ever become Prime Minister,” Coudray said in a release.
While we are all familiar with such knee jerk reactions from the PNM, Coudray said, it is indeed strange Dr Rowley is making such a statement when he was part of a Cabinet whose attempts at Local Government Reform, always focused only on the Ministry of Local Government.
This resulted in high levels of expenditure at that ministry by one minister and even higher levels by the other, embarking on frolics of expanding the staff at the ministry without consideration for the provision and improvement of the much needed staff to the Municipal Corporations which were established to address certain day to day needs of people in our communities, she said in the release.
She claimed that Rowley’s statement was not surprising from one who participated in the emasculation of Local Government by paying lip service to local government while consistently eroding several of its powers and functions and failing to address the fundamental problems and issues affecting Local Government.
Quite interestingly, Coudray said in the release, Rowley’s statement reflects and confirms the low priority the PNM has always placed on people-centred governance and delivery of services to communities.
Over the last four years, she said, that ministry has refocused its attention on more effective and efficient delivery of services which she claimed is in contrast to the PNM’s style of mismanagement prior to the 2010 general election.
“Let me assure every citizen that a People’s Partnership Government will continue its people centred delivery focus which has resulted in several achievements.
“This resoundingly underscores the need for the Ministry of Local Government.
“Dr Rowley’s stated intention to disband Local Government is a clear signal from the PNM of its intention to return to a style of out of control leadership, characterised by abysmal decision making which have brought little, if any direct benefit, to the nation.”
She assured in the release that her ministry will continue to work with each Local Government body to ensure all policies and programmes are coordinated to enable uniformity and unanimity in application by each Municipal Corporation, all of which are governed by one piece of legislation, namely the Municipal Corporations Act, Act 21 of 1990 (as amended).