The link between central government and local councils

Support local councils through more investment and ongoing communication with stakeholders

Following the general elections held in March 2022, local councils now fall under the portfolio of the Local Government Parliamentary Secretariat within the Department of National Heritage, Arts and Local Government. Local councils represent central government on a local basis – they are headed by permanent executive secretaries as well as mayors and councilors who, like members of parliament, are elected by the electorate. While the Local Government Parliamentary Secretariat serves as the link between central government and local councils.

Investing in human capital

Human capital is one of the most important resources for the effective and efficient implementation of strategies within any organization. As such, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Local Authorities has undertaken to prepare a program for the continuous development of investments focused on the development of the skills of elected officials and local administrators, in accordance with the State’s vision in terms of governance of local authorities. Territorial.

However, training programs are already offered to members of local councils through Norwegian funds. Last April, the Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government, Alison Zerafa Civelli, launched an induction program focusing on the themes of good governance, transparency and accountability.

The theme of good governance is crucial in ensuring that regional and local councils operate according to good principles to deliver the most effective and efficient service to the residents they represent.

In May, another program funded by the Small Grants Scheme through Norwegian funds for local councils in urban settlements was launched. The main objective of this program was to fight against inequalities and challenges related to the socio-economic situation in urban localities. It included a procedures manual for the implementation of the projects and provided the project managers with the administrative knowledge necessary to carry out the selected projects.

“This program should be seen as an important tool to help urban local councils carry out projects and initiatives within the framework of the strategic plan for the environment and development, improving the quality of life of residents, as well as to put implementing sustainable initiatives to help the most vulnerable within the community,” Local Government Parliamentary Secretary Alison Zerafa Civelli said at a press conference to launch the training program.

Financial aid in local projects

For the third consecutive year, funds have been allocated by the Strategy and Implementation Branch within the Local Government Division to keep major infrastructure projects carried out by the central government in our communities in good condition. . The local councils of Ħamrun, Mellieħa and Għajnsielem have received €123,000 between them under the maintenance and support program for major infrastructure projects.

“This fund is therefore a means of ensuring the necessary maintenance, while improving the quality of life of the inhabitants,” said Zerafa Civelli. During the same press conference, Zerafa Civelli also announced that a sum of €300,000 was allocated from this year’s budget for the re-edition of this programme.

At a press conference yesterday, eight local councils received around £500,000 in funds between them from the Capital Projects Funding – Accessibility and Mobility scheme. The main objective of this program is to help local councils provide the same quality of life for all residents.

Through this program, these local councils will be able to increase social inclusion within their localities, increase the accessibility of leisure and leisure venues, buildings, car parks and other public places, as well as creating a higher level of independence and freedom for residents and people working in the locality, especially for people with special and vulnerable needs.

Ongoing communication with stakeholders

With the appointment of a new parliamentary secretary responsible for local administration last March, the parliamentary secretariat has made it its business to meet with all the actors likely to influence in one way or another the governance of regional councils and local.

During these meetings, the need for increased communication between all stakeholders was highlighted in order to strengthen the work of Regional and Local Councils – for the benefit of our localities and our people.

“Communication and engagement between stakeholders, including those who may have some level of influence on the governance of regional and local councils is crucial, to minimize the risk of misunderstandings which can disrupt the administration of councils” , said Zerafa Civelli on several occasions.

Local councils are an extension of central government within our localities, and they are the ones who primarily understand the needs of residents. So, in the coming weeks, local government is committed to working to give regional and local councils the priority they deserve.

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