...PNM launches manifesto
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The People’s National Movement (PNM) launched its manifesto for local government elections on Saturday night at a rally at Bournes Road in St James.
It was not just one manifesto, but 14 individual manifestos, tailored to each regional corporation.
The first half of the manifesto was the policy for the whole country and the second half the projects and programmes and development objections for each corporation.
The manifestos were predicated on legislative change to bring more autonomy to local government corporations, but during his presentation of the party’s policies, Opposition MP Colm Imbert didn’t seem too worried, assuring supporters that the PNM would return to power after the next general election, scheduled for 2015.
Local government elections are set for October 21.
“We want to make local government relevant. The perception is that local government bodies fail to provide goods and services to the public in a timely manner. The reason for that is lack of funding; lack of resources and technical staff; a lack of autonomy, and deficiencies in the law. We will deal with all these problems, take away red tape and bureaucracy that prevents local government bodies from doing this in an effective manner,” Imbert said.
The party’s model borrowed heavily from the Tobago House of Assembly model, Imbert said, where money that is allocated is given directly from the Ministry of Finance.
He said the PNM will also change the law so that revenue and taxes within regions will be given to local government bodies directly, so they can start their projects early.