16 year olds can contest local elections under Local Govt reforms –

first_imgDOI/ Pierre SammutDOI/ Pierre Sammut Young people of 16 and over will be able to contest local elections, new local government reforms say.It is understood that this new reform will help increase youth participation in politics and allow them to run and be elected.The reform is part of a raft of new measures which Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis outlined as part of the launch of the Local Government Reform.The PS explained that the reforms were the result of extensive consultation, which is now aimed at decentralising and increasing autonomy within local government while also strengthening the authorities across Malta and Gozo.In addition to increasing political participation among the younger generation, the 9 reforms also include changes to the roles of local councils, their elected representatives, staff and recruitment as well as the removal and redesignation of certain bodies to fit amendments to the Maltese Constitution.The changes outlined in full:The regionsThese now have specific roles and increased tangible responsibilities, as well as the necessary resources to carry out their functions.The Social, Educational and Community SectorLocal councils will begin to offer more the best possible service whilst supporting and assisting citizens, particularly in the social and educational spheres. Such initiatives would strengthen the sense of community.Administrative CommitteesThe functions of the Administrative Committees shall be reinvested in the respective local councils. The respective administrative committees will be dissolved but the communities shall remain. Now a councillor will be entrusted with the responsibility for these communities and for this purpose set up a subcommittee, so that their requirements would be taken into account in each local council meeting. By means of this reform the communities will have a vote within the local council.Local councillor responsibilitiesIn order for councillors to perform effectively within a local council they are going to be assigned responsibility for matters falling within the ambit of the local council. The responsibilities to be assigned to local councillors are – cleanliness, the environment, youth, sport and physical activities, innovation, infrastructure, projects, the elderly, education, culture, communities, social aspects and the protection of animals.Increased youth participationBy means of this reform, youths aged 16 can contest in local elections.DOI/ Pierre SammutIncreased local citizen participationWith a view to strengthening and enhancing effective local citizens’ participation in local government operations, citizens will be invited to contribute to the Work Plan during the first three months of the new local council legislature.Strengthening of human resourcesInvestment in human resources will be required in order for regional councils and local councils to function more efficiently and effectively. Regional councils and local councils will be given greater autonomy with regard to the number of employees they recruit. Employees should have opportunities for promotion; an incentive to perform better knowing that the quality of their work is being acknowledged.A name change for the actThe Local Councils Act is now renamed as the Local Government Act in recognition of the importance given to the concept of local government.Amendment to the Maltese ConstitutionIn 2001 a new chapter was added to the Maltese Constitution, the highest law of the country, which recognises local councils as a form of local government in our country. This clause will be amended in order to reflect the concept of local government which will be composed of two levels, the regional and the local.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more