Categorized | National News

Gray Foreshadows Amendments To Local Gov’t Act

The Local Government Act could be changed significantly ahead of this year’s elections.

Local Government Minister V. Alfred Gray on Monday foreshadowed a compendium of amendments to the law including the appointment of a director and deputy director, a move that is deemed necessary as “there is no leadership in the department.”

The affairs of that department are currently handled by the permanent secretary of a staff member directed by the minister, according to Mr. Gray.

Another proposed change is the level of authority to be granted to local Family Island District Councils in terms of issuing business licenses.

“Prior to now, business licenses had all been removed from the Local Government Council’s authority by the former administration,” Minister Gray said.

“I intend to ask Cabinet to approve an amendment which will allow for occasional licenses or provisional licenses or one day licenses to be put back in the hands of the local government councils.”

The minister went on to explain that as it stands, those hosting cook-outs, a regatta or a church hosting a fair in the Family Islands must travel to New Providence to secure such a license at considerable expense and inconvenience.

“That to me is burdensome to those poor people,” the minister said, who sees the proposed amendment as a means to ease the financial burden associated with these types of Family Island economic activities.

Minister Gray said there are several other minor proposed amendments.

As for a timeline, he anticipates that Cabinet will put its stamp of approval on the proposals “either this week or next week.”

Local government elections are slated for June 23.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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