Call for local government in New Providence
A LOCAL social activism group is calling for a deepening of Bahamian democracy by the introduction of local government to New Providence.
The Bain and Grants Town Association commended the government for the smooth running of the recently held Local Government elections in the Family Islands, and asked why a system which has survived for 15 years in the rest of the country has yet to be implemented in the capital, where more than two thirds of the population lives.
"The time has come, indeed come and gone, for a modern, effective and transparent system of Local Government to be introduced in New Providence and we hereby issue a very strong and urgent call for its formulation and implementation at the very earliest time possible", said Rev CB Moss, president of the association.
According to Rev Moss, Local Government should have been implemented in New Providence first and then extended to the Family Islands.
New Providence is one of the few significant democratic population centres in the world with only a single level of government, he pointed out.
"This anomaly has contributed to the stagnation of the development of the Bahamian society, as residents with tremendous potential residing in communities are underutilised and marginalised and their communities and the nation is deprived of their leadership skills and abilities to the detriment of all.
"Surely 41 persons in the national parliament cannot be expected, nor relied upon, to understand local concerns and aspirations, and to move the entire nation forward, upward, and onward."
Rev Moss pointed out that successive governments have promised to implement Local Government in New Providence, but none of them have delivered.
"Bain Grants Town, also known as Over-the Hill, has long been ready, willing and able to embrace Local Government in order to revitalise and renew what is the heartland of the Bahamas," he said.
July 20, 2011