Letters | Sunday, 08 March 2009

Public participation in local councils

In the wake of amending the Local Councils Act, I envisage fresher ways of thinking that will take our local councils forward beyond the principles of public consideration, for it to embrace the dynamics of public participation.
I see our local councils moving further in arenas where the culture of procedures and decision-making are truly and fully participative.
Different forms and levels of participation are called for, for different circumstances. The more one moves up the ladder of engagement, the higher will be the level of public impact.
As stated by the Nationalist Government, local councils do not necessarily need more participation but better participation and involvement, and better participation requires more understanding of the complexities and conditions of working with people to change the ways decisions are made and implemented.
Participation does not only empower our residents. It brings about an improved quality of public services, a chance to build stronger communities and a means to tackle complex problems and mind-racking issues collectively.


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