Mr. Speaker, I am here today firstly because of the blessings of Almighty God with whom all things are possible. And, I fervently pray for his continued mercy and wisdom.Let me thank Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller for her quality leadership, optimism about our future, and unquestionable commitment to creating an environment that enables the Jamaican people to be the best that they can be. I am also grateful for her continuing confidence in my capacity to lead the Ministry of Local Government & Community Development as we complete the transformation of Local Government that was started so many years ago.I would like to recognize the presence of members of my family who have always been there for me – through thick and thin. To the extent that I am able to meet the unending demands of public life is due in no small part to their sacrifice.It is a most fulfilling experience to work with and for the people of Clarendon South West: my Councillors, my Constituency Executive, Cluster Managers, Youth Leaders, Women Groups, NGOs, the Ministers Fraternal, the Educators, and other stakeholders for the progress and development of the constituency. They are well represented here today.I want to especially salute Minister of State, the Honourable Colin Fagan. His quiet counsel and loyal support have been invaluable in putting our various projects on a successful path.Mr. Robert Rainford, the Permanent Secretary, ably leads a committed and patriotic staff. Over the past year, the synergies, the level of motivation and the output of the staff clearly reflect his leadership.With each passing day, I become more indebted to my personal staff, including my security team, who continue to allow me to tax to the utmost their seemingly boundless reserves of patience, energy, and patriotism.I am heartened by the degree to which the Local Authorities, Agencies and Departments within this Ministry have demonstrated the capacity to rise to the challenge posed in this complex and crucial period of national development. Mr. Speaker, I cannot leave out my team of Mayors, Councillors, Chair Persons and Board Members, Heads of Agencies such as the Board of Supervision, the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the National Solid Waste Management Authority, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and the Social Development Commission; very special thanks to you all. I demand a lot only because I know you are equal to the task…READ MOREDownload Contribution to the Annual Sectoral Debate by the Hon. Noel Arscott, M.P.
Grab a friend and meet Ashton Kutcher at City Summit during the weekend of the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California. One lucky bidder will get a Meet and Greet with actor/entrepreneur at the Summit, taking place March 2-3.The winner and a friend will get VIP tickets and backstage passes to the Summit, plus get access to the pre-event VIP dinner on March 1, reserved up-front seating at the Summit and a fun VIP gift bag. Funds raised by the online auction will support City Gala. To learn more about the auction, please visit www.charitystars.com/ashtonkutcher.The City Summit is a world class, socially conscious business acceleration experience. The Summit was founded by Ryan Long in order to give entrepreneurs the ability to connect with each other and advance their knowledge and partnerships in elite social circles.The City Summit and City Gala raise funds to support startup, nonprofit organizations. The vision is to advance a sense of community through humanitarian activities and events. This year’s City Gala will feature a live and online auction put on by CharityStars, the world’s most comprehensive fundraising platform and creator of AidCoin. Learn more or purchase tickets: www.citygala.org.Guest speaker Ashton Kutcher is the co-founder of Grade-A Investments and the Thorn Foundation – a nonprofit that builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse.