Article 71 of the Constitution states that Local Government is a vital aspect of democracy and sh all be organized so as to involve as many people as possible in the task of managing a nd developing the communities in which they live. For this purpose, the said Article 71 of the Constitution also states that Parliament shall provide for a country-wide system of Local Government through the establishment of organs of lo cal democratic power as an integral part of the political organisation of the state. In compliance with Article 71 of the Constitution 71 Local Authority Areas comprising six Municipalities or towns and 65 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) have been established in Guyana. Two primary objectives of Local Government are to
(i) enab le democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of communities; and
(ii) promote the social, econom ic, environmental, and cultura l well-being of communities.
The major goals of Local Government are as follows:-
- Improving the local environment.
- Providing and developing local ope n space and recreation facilities.
- Setting strategic policy directions.
- Preparing annual plans, budgets and long-term council community plans.
- Acting on behalf of other principals such as central government e.g. managing local grants.
- Administer responsibilities under laws and re gulations e.g., building and sanitation.
- Regulating local nuisances such as animal and pest control
- Providing services relevant to road maintenance, waste di sposal, park maintenance, rubbish collection, libraries etc.
- Providing an infrastructural and planning framework in which communities can grow and the economy can flourish.
- Coordinating with other agencies operating locally; e.g. Police.
- Promoting cultural and sporting events.
- Promoting local visitor and tourism events.
- Consulting with residents towards improving service provision.
- Developing and advancing community viewpoints.
- Defining and enforcing appropriate rights within communities.