Ministry of Local Government & Community Development

Ministry of Local Government
& Community Development

Government of Jamaica


Local Government & Community Month Cross-Island Run takes off

Published: Friday | October 13, 2017

JAMAICA HOUSE, Kingston: The Local Government and Community Month’s Cross-Island Run was launched on Tuesday (October 10, 2017) during a brief ceremony at Jamaica House in Kingston.

The Cross-Island Run is a precursor to the month-long celebration observed each year during the month of November by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development as well as its affiliated agencies and departments.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Honourable Desmond McKenzie, told the gathering that this year’s activities will focus on community development.

"The significance of what we are doing this year is to emphasise community development a lot more," he explained.  "We are not just there to clean drains and provide resources to the municipal corporations - community involvement, community building, community participation are critical components of the Ministry's agenda.”

The runners were set off on their cross-island trek by Minister McKenzie and Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, who represented the Prime Minister.

“The Run, which I fully endorse, is really a multi-purpose approach and a novel idea of getting the message of Local Government to all areas of Jamaica. First it gets our people moving,” the Prime Minister’s message read.

“Second, it carries not only the message of Local Government, but also the notion that we should take care of recreational spaces in our communities so we can exercise. Thirdly, it involves our people. And finally and importantly the message of building better communities through local governance is shared. This is truly creating an environment for community involvement and participation.”

The runners will journey across Jamaica from October 10 to October 29, 2017 delivering the messages from His Excellency, the Governor General; the Most Honourable Prime Minister; Minister of Local Government & Community Development; Leader of the Opposition and President of the Association of Local Government Authorities of Jamaica (ALGAJ) to the Mayors in the parish capitals.

These messages will be read at the local church services to commemorate Local Government & Community Month following the National Church Service at the Morant Bay New Testament Church in St. Thomas on Sunday, October 29, 2017.   

The first stop in the Cross-Island Run shortly after the official ceremony was the Kingston & St. Andrew Municipal Corporation where Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, members of the political directorate and administrative staff welcomed the runners.  

Minister McKenzie noted that the initiative, which is being implemented by the Social Development Commission (SDC), provides the opportunity for the Local Authorities to highlight their functions and deepen the relationship with citizens for community development and national growth.  

The theme for Local Government and Community Month 2017 is ‘Local Governance…The Pathway to Securing Better Communities’.