Mr Joseph Amoah, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Shama District in the Western Region, has appealed to the Area Council and Unit Committee Members to undertake their assigned duties devoid of partisan politics to ensure a holistic development of the District.
The DCE who said this during the election of new Area Councils and swearing-in of Unit Committees indicated that the move was very essential since it fell within the government's agenda to strengthen the local governance structure.
Mr Amoah explained that Area Councils (AC's) and Unit Committee (UC's) were established by section 3 sub-section 3 and 4 of the Local Governance Act, 2016, (Act 936), and the Legislative Instrument (L.I1967) within the area of authority of a District Assembly, which mandates the Area Council members to champion local level development within their jurisdiction, under the direct supervision of the District Assembly.
The DCE emphasised that, the District Assembly cannot function effectively without the effective, functional and reliable sub-structures such as the Area Councils and Unit Committees.
"There is, therefore, the need for them to endeavour to work towards the successful implementation of the local governance and decentralisation policies under the directives and guidance of the Assembly".
Mr Amoah charged the Area Councillors to spearhead the social, economic and political needs of their areas by communicating clearly and unequivocally the agenda of the assembly devoid of any partisan considerations, ethnic and personal sentiment and serve their constituents in accordance with the laid-down procedures and rules to achieve the intended purpose of growth for the Assembly.
The DCE hinted that the councillors were permitted to raise funds for development projects through voluntary contributions, gifts and grants, adding that the Assembly may grant a Council share of its common fund to be used for development projects.
He, however, drew the attention of the Area Councillors to a caveat in the L I, 1967 that prohibits them to impose any levy or rate on the people, noting "if there is the need for such special levy, the L.I require them to make recommendations to the District Assembly for approval to be granted".
The Budget Analyst of the District Assembly, Mr Emmanuel Nana Yartel encouraged the councillors to form the relevant committees, which include, Planning and Development as well as Finance and Accounts Committees as the law required to generate enough revenue to help the Assembly to function effectively.
Mr Nana Yartel urged the members to work hard to ensure their various communities are developed to meet the expectations of the Assembly.
He, therefore, advised all the members of the various councils to be conversant with the legal and regulatory frameworks governing local governance particularly the LI, 1967 to enable them to function effectively.
He further urged them to promote grassroots development within their various communities in the District since they were indispensable in the growth of the District.