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26.10.2005 General News

Unit Committees name and structure to be changed

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Somanya (E/R), Oct 26, GNA - Mr Charles Bintim, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, has said the ministry was working to have the law establishing the unit committees amended and their names to be changed to area development committees.

He said the new law would also seek to reduce the number of members of the unit committees from 15 to seven and also make every Electoral Area to have one Area Development Committee. Mr Bintim explained that such a development would help reduce the number of people involved in the sub-structures of the assembly and the committees to manageable seize.

The Minister was speaking at a meeting with some members of the Yilo Krobo District Assembly and heads of departments at Somanya on Tuesday at the start of a two-day tour of some district assemblies in the Eastern Region.

Mr Bintim said the ministry was working on a pilot project to ensure full decentralization of the Department of Community Development, the Births and Deaths Registry and the Department of Parks and Gardens into the Local Government structure by December. Under the project, the three departments would no longer have separate offices for their regional directors but there would be directors at the regional co-ordinating councils who would be responsible for those departments.

Mr Bintim said by next year, it was expected that other departments that work under the local government structure would be fully decentralized to bring their staff under the authority of the district assemblies and the regional co-ordinating councils. He asked the staff of the district assemblies to work hard to help correct the perceived negative image of the assemblies by the public and promised to institute annual Meet-the-Press series for the district chief executives to talk about their achievements. Mr Christian Tettey, the Acting DCE of Yilo-Krobo, appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to consider the payment of salaries of staff of the substructures of the district assembly to help motivate them.

He also appealed to the ministry to consider acquiring new official vehicles for the district assemblies because many of the current ones are old and costly to maintain.

Later, Mr Bintim inaugurated a 215 million-cedi classroom block for the Kpong Women's Vocational Institute at Kpong at Krobo-Odumasi. The Manya Krobo District Assembly, the Landlords Association and the VRA resettlement community at Kpong funded the building with support from the Social Investment Fund (SIF).

Mr David Sackitey Asare, the DCE of Many Krobo, appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to allocate a new cesspool emptier to the assembly. He said the only cesspool emptier of the assembly had grown old and was incapable of coping with the workload.