Minister of Rural Development Speaks on GOB’s Re-Delineation Exercise
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- January 27, 2023
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Yesterday we told you about GOB’s Municipal Boundaries Re-Delineation Exercise that began in 2012. Well, it’s causing controversy especially for residents in Benque and Succotz. The venture, which involves seven of the nine municipalities, seeks to redefine the municipal jurisdiction of the respective communities where no readily distinguishable boundaries or where traditional boundary lines are not definitive. Minister Oscar Requena was asked about it.
Hon.Oscar Requena, Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Local Government and Labour: “With regards to Benque Viejo and Succotz I want to say that we have had two consultations. The latest was December 19th and as our release stated during these consultation meetings we had participation from the Benque Viejo Town Council as well as the Succotz Village Council. After the two meetings it was agreed between Benque Viejo and Succotz that the Ministry of Natural Resources would be involved in redoing the maps and that – and of course the redrawing of the maps was based on the discussions that were held between Benque Viejo and Succotz. This process is very important because the legal entity charged with that responsibility is the Ministry of Natural Resources and at those meetings, the final meeting of December 19th it was agreed that whatever outcome came out the Ministry of Natural Resources’ redrawing those maps that those would be brought back to the table for Benque Viejo and San Jose Succotz leaders to sit down and agree on this process. This process is still ongoing and it is unfortunate that there was some misinformation on the part of you know the leadership in San Jose Succotz in terms of their sharing information with the villagers of San Jose Succotz to the point where I think that some of the villagers certainly had concerns that they expressed and that is okay but their concerns that they expressed really were not founded upon factual information I think it is important that we clarify that. So this is still an ongoing process.”
Minister Requena says the exercise is important to provide the legal basis for the provision of municipal services, collection of revenue, municipal elections, enforcement of local regulations and by-laws, and the general good governance and administration of the local space.
Hon.Oscar Requena, Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Local Government and Labour: “As you’re fully aware municipalities provide services to the residents of towns and cities. Over the years we have seen towns and even the cities expanding and the truth of the matter is that the town council or the city council, in this case they’re all town councils, these town councils are really required by the residents for them to provide services; picking up the garbage, cleaning the drains, maintaining the parks etc. Now the municipality has to ensure that their finances are in a sustainable manner to be able to provide those services. Now the truth of the matter is that many residents are getting the services but they are not paying for it. So these are some of the issues that we have to contend with and as a result of that it is necessary that the boundaries be re-delineated and adjusted to be able to accommodate the realities on the ground that the residents require services, that the municipality needs to go in there and it has to be done on a legal basis and that there is a mutual understanding between the residents who want the services and the municipality who is providing the services.”