Member of Parliament Hope Strachan, the Minister for Local Government, came to Abaco on July 23 to preside over a hearing on two appeals against Hope Town District Council decisions. On her arrival she visited Hope Town to see first-hand the basis for the appeals. The hearing followed in the Prime Minister’s office in Marsh Harbour and was a closed session.
“We had two appeals for the Hope Town District Council, which I wanted to hear. One of them was pretty long standing and I thought that it was high time that was heard. The other was a more recent one but it was important to the appellant, so we heard that and we were able to complete those appeals,” she said.
She said that “the decisions will be written in the course of the next three weeks and I think all parties concerned, appellants as well as respondents, are pretty happy that those were completed.”
Following the hearing, Ms. Strachan held afternoon meetings with members of the District Councils of Central, North and South Abaco to become personally acquainted with them.
“I wanted to become acquainted with the administrators and district councils and so we visited North Abaco and we have meet with all the councillors in North Abaco, then with the councillors from South Abaco and then from Central Abaco,” she said.
These were informal meetings intended to let the Minister meet those in local government on a one-on-one basis. Council members expressed their frustrations with minimal funding while trying to provide the mandated essential services to a growing area.
Ms. Strachan was interested to hear the concerns of the council members and assured them that she would do her best to see local government succeed. She hopes to hold similar meetings throughout The Bahamas to be acquainted with the problems and concerns of local government members throughout the country.
Ms. Strachan said “We listened to their concerns and my job is now to try address those concerns. I will go back to Nassau and take their concerns to all the relevant ministries, and hopefully with their support, be able to assist the councils here to meet some of their goals and needs.”