Department Achievements

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ADMINISTRATION

  • 3 Officers successfully completed all three modules in the Government Accounting Course.
  • 2 Officers successfully completed course in Certificate Administrative Management (CAM 2).
  • 1 Officer successfully completed course in Administrative Management (CAM 1).
  • 1 Officer commenced training in Poor Relief Officer, Assistant Inspector of Poor Relief and Matron conducted by Board of Supervision (not yet completed).
  • 3 Officers promoted permanently to higher positions.
  • 3 Officers permanently appointed.
  • 1 new Officer employed in Accounts Department.
  • 4 New Ward Assistants were employed for the infirmary.
  • 4 persons recruited and are being trained as Municipal Police (Police Training Centre)

PLANNING
Report on Applications / Development Process

  • The Westmoreland Parish Council has adopted the following systems to ensure and assist in efficiency of its development process: 
  • All amendments / corrections to a plan are submitted / highlighted to the client at once so that he / she can make all corrections before resubmission to the Local Authority.
  • The Council has maintained consistent dialogue with the Local Health / Fire Department to examine and highlight all the areas that have sewage problems or have reached maximum sewerage capacity, so that an applicant, upon submitting an application, is advised that his / her application cannot be accepted based on recommendations of the Local Health Department.
  • Clients are encouraged to use Local Draughtsmen/Architects/professionals so that in the event that there is the need for amendments, the plan can be easily contacted and the amendments made in a timely manner.  
  • The Council is in the process of examining the possible solution in collecting the NWA fees.
  • All applications that require additional information / acceptance of conditions from clients will be given a specific time frame; whilst the clock will stop ticking on such an application. The said application will be considered as closed / pending.
  • Established a system of electronic accepting recommendations from agencies
  • An amnesty was initiated by the Council to capture development that were approved  

Additional Accomplishments

  • The Planning Department has developed a planning email and also in the process of developing a website.
  • Standardized development applications
  • A planning brochure has also been established and improved
  • The Planning department has undertaken a radio advertisement to promote the council
  • A development database has also been established including other development application. 
  • Training of Draftsmen
  • Increased staffing complement - planning coordinator 

ACCOUNTS

  • The Accounts Department is housed in the Administrative Office of the Westmoreland Parish Council which is situated at 93 Gt. George Street, Savanna-la-Mar and is manned by seven members of staff, six of which are currently improving their educational status. Two are pursuing Bachelor of Science Degrees in Business Studies at their own expense, one an Associate Degree in Accounting, two have recently successfully completed Government Accounting (Level 3) and the other has successfully completed Level 2, through assisted funding from the Council.
  • The objective of this department is to ensure, guided by various Financial Regulations as prescribed by Government, that all funds received are accurately accounted for and efficiently managed.
  • The 2012 / 2013 Financial Year proved challenging for the Council especially in the area of Revenue collection (see revenue statement), however despite these challenges, some of which include poor physical infrastructure (accommodation), inadequate staffing and a  manual accounting system, the Department continues to meet targets and deadlines. 
  • FINAL ACCOUNTS – Submitted to the Auditor General’s Department up to Financial Year 2011 / 2012.                      
  • CONTRACTOR GENERAL’S QUARTERLY REPORT – Submitted up to last quarter ending March 2013.
  • STATEMENTS – Revenue & Expenditure statements submitted to Ministry of Local Government and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica up to March 2013.
  • BUDGET – Draft Budget for Financial Year 2012 / 2013 submitted to the Ministry of Local Government
  • BANK RECONCILLIATION - Current, as both accounts have been reconciled to March 2013.
  • ALLOWANCES – Relevant allowances payable to staff eg, Tailoring, travelling etc., have been paid up to and for the Financial Year 2012 / 2013.
  • ANNUAL RETURNS – These (P.A.Y.E., N.I.S., ED. TAX & N.H.T.) have been submitted for calendar year 2012.
  • STATUTORY DEDUCTIONS – Remittances (P.A.Y.E., N.I.S.,ED. Tax & N.H.T.) have been made to the Inland Revenue Department for and up to March 2013.
  • LEASE PAYMENTS – Payments for properties leased to the Council are current.
  • PENSION PAYMENTS – Increase granted by government to relevant pensioners with effect July 2011, paid during the financial year 2012.
  • LICENCES - A total of 1569 licenses were processed during the financial year 2012 / 2013 as under:- 
    • Barbers & Hairdressers – 195, Vendors – 248, Butchers  - 48, Places of Amusement – 1078.
  • REVENUE – The Council earned in Revenue a total of $302,782,332.00, of which own source revenue accounts for $58,142,783.00. Grants and allocations from and through the Ministry of Local Government & Community Development accounts for the difference.
  • PAYMENTS – Nineteen Thousand  Eight Hundred payments were processed during the financial year via various methods such as Work Agreements, Supply Orders, Road Contracts etc.
  • EXPENDITURE – Expenditure, directly from the Council for the financial year 2012/2013 was  $316,957,840.00. It is to be noted that the Ministry of Local Government & Community Development pays various agencies directly on behalf of the Council.
  • At face value it would appear that the Council has expended more than what has been earned (difference of $14,175,508.00), for the financial year, however Surrender entries are not required at the close of the previous financial period, therefore unexpended balances on specific programmes are utilized to  complete these programmes, which may be completed within the new financial period. 
  • AUDIT QUERIES - This Council responded to all Audit queries and presently none is outstanding.
  • LOCAL PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE – This committee is chaired by the Chairman of the Parish Development Committee and consists of a mixture of private sector / civil society representatives, councillors and officers of the Council. The Internal Auditor is the Clerk to the Committee and for the financial year a total of 3 meetings were held. 

  
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
COMMUNITY DISASTER TRAINING/WORKSHOP

  • Community Disaster Response Training (CDRT) in Little London and Frome
  • Shelter Manager’s Training (Parish Training)
  • Community Simulation Exercise (Little London) 

PARISH CO-ORDINATOR’S TRAINING

  • Disaster Information Management System
  • Jamaica’s Hillside Development Manual.
  • DesInventar (Disaster Information Management System) a tool used to collect disaster data
  • Workshop on Climate Adaptation Governance for Fisheries, Agriculture and Tourism
  • Workshop on Psyco-social 

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

  • Fire Inspection of the Council with respect to the safety of the admin staff.
  • Shelter Inspection
  • Updating of Parish Plan
  • Community Disaster Plan and Standard Operating Procedures for Fire, Earthquake and Hurricane for McNeil land and New Roads
  • Final Disaster Risk Management Plan for Savanna-la-Mar prepared by Smith Warner received
  • Draft Hillside Manual received
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans for Schools and Child Care Institutions received (kit including Guidelines for the development of the plans, A sample plan, a copy of template to be used and a CD).
  • Draft National Chemical Emergency Response Protocol (NCERP) received.
  • Drain cleaning exercise done throughout parish
  • Compile list of Street People in parish and identify shelter for them to be used during a disaster
  • Prepare Disaster Action Plan for the Homeless. 
  • Co-ordinate construction of seven (7) Food for the Poor Double units in Parish
  • Send information regarding Missing Children to Local Media House and cable companies 

COMMUNITY MITIGATION PROJECT

  • Repairs to New Roads Cathement Tank  

PUBLIC EDUCATION

  • Disaster Presentations (Earthquake, Hurricane) in Schools, Hotels, Vocational Training Institutions Churches and Communities
  • Public Education Programmes (Local media Houses)
  • Earthquake Drills (some schools, Health Department (1))
  • Media interviews on Vybz and Linkz (Earthquake, Hurricane)  

INFIRMARY

  • The continuation of the poultry project which has provided meat for the residents and some of which was sold and proceeds injected for continuation of the project and this served as occupational therapy for some residents especially those of the Street People Shelter. 
  • Approximately eleven staff members are currently attending classes at JFLL
  • Four Ward Assistant’s were added to the staff compliment at the Infirmary, and three Psychiatric Aides at the Street People Shelter.
  • Solar water heaters were installed at the infirmary.
  • Grab bars installed in the bathroom of the male and female wards.
  • A heat extractor was installed in the kitchen.
  • Additional lighting was installed on the infirmary compound. 
  • Food for the Poor continued to make sterling donations to the infirmary, also KFC, the Indian Dr’s Association of Savanna La Mar, Kiwanis Club of Savanna La Mar, SDA Churches in the Savanna La Mar area for their spiritual guidance .
  • The resident’s continues to engage in farming namely vegetables, corn, banana etc. 

Challenges 2012

  • Several requests have been submitted for the construction of a perimeter fence and also for a day security guard, for the security of the residents, and also for monitoring persons entering and leaving the compound. If these request were honoured it would alleviate the problems of residents leaving the compound, and stray animals especially stray dogs from entering the compound. 
  • In addition it would also have an impact on praedial larceny which affected us over the years.
  • The board structure that houses the male residents is old and dilapidated and needs to be replaced.

Projection 2013-2014 

  • A new building to house the male residents. 
  • To install generator with the capacity to light the entire Infirmary Compound.
  • Acquire an Activities Director
  • Include layers to chicken project. Estimate was done.  
  • Training and development of staff.
  • Improve resident’s security (to construct perimeter fencing).  
  • Employment of a day security guard. 

POOR RELIEF 

  • Two, two bedroom houses were constructed by Food for the Poor for the Registered Poor Persons.
  • One Registered Poor house was voluntarily built by members of the Catholic Church.
  • Twenty four (24) Registered Poor children were assisted with bus fare/taxi fare to and from high schools.
  • Seventeen (17) Registered Poor Persons and their family were enrolled on the Path programme.
  • Food items were received from Food for the Poor and distributed.
  • Two (2) Registered Poor children were successful in seven (7) C.X.C subjects. 

OTHER ACHIEVMENTS
of the Parish Council:

  • Registration of vendors
  • Relocation of vendors into the Savanna-la-Mar Market
  • Re-establishment of the Local Government Reform Committee
  • Establishment of the Public Accounts Committee
  • Re-establishment of the Parish Development Committee
  • Exceeded Property Tax Target for year in review based on initiative under taken by Council and Compliance Officer and with the aid of interviews via VYBZ FM (Local radio station)
  • During Local Government Month the annual participation of students in Youth Council, and Fun Day were carried out. 
  • Community Town Hall meetings were held in three (3) Divisions (Whitehouse, Petersfield, and Bethel Town)
  • Memorial Service held in memory of past Councillors.
  • Mayor’s Christmas Treat for seven hundred (700) children and one hundred and fifty (150) Shut-ins
  • Seven hundred and forty two (742) student were employed under the Student Work Programme.
  • Establishment of the Parish Safety and Security Committee.
  • Community Audit in Russia, Savanna-la-Mar, Negril & Bluefields
  • Co-ordination of counseling to trauma victims
  • Launch of Parish Safety & Security Pilot Project (Petersfield Division) 

AWARDS

  • Received from Local Government for Implementation of Core Local Government Reform Initiatives
  • Received from Local Government for Engaging Citizens Participation in the Affair of Local Government 

PROJECTIONS FOR 2013 / 14

  • To construct building to house Accounts Department to facilitate the computerization of the Accounts Department
  • To continue Rehabilitation and maintenance of existing parochial roads and drains in parish
  • To continue training of staff members
  • To increase staff compliment.
  • To continue auditing of street lights in the parish
  • To continue the construction of house bases for Registered Poors
  • Launch of Parish Safety Project (Whitehouse Division)