6 MINUTE HISTORY of TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
ROLE & BACKGROUND OF
The National Association Of Village & Community Councils?
The birth of Village and Community Councils in Trinidad and Tobago began in 1959, just before the independence was granted by Great Britain.
That year an Act was enacted. The Exhequer and Audit Ordinance, which drastically reduced the powers of municipalities over their personnel, revenue and budget.
It meant that the Central Government had more control of what happened in communities it allowed them to determine how government money was disbursed to communities and the right to restructure Local Government
According to a white paper entailed “Local Government Reform” in 1965 the task of restructuring local government was commissioned to a committee, the Sinanan Committee.
The head of this committee was, Dr. Eric Williams, political leader of the PNM party.
Their charge was to recommend effective and useful policy changes to restructure Local Government.
In their final report, the committee recommended greater decentralization from Central Government, particularly the empowerment of local communities in the management of their assets.
It stressed that Local Government become a part of the country’s democracy and self determination. In other words the country had to be developed by people who lived in the respective communities.
It was not easy for Central Government to release control and the country saw a number of acts passed in light of the Report.
The argument was that in order to get sustainable development of the governance of certain services had to be under the control of the Central Government; as such we had the Water and Sewerage Act in 1956, the Statutory Authorities Act and the Civil Service Act both in 1966.
For a detail explanation of Local Government Click Here
The Local Government Reform report goes on to say that the Sinanan Report also prompted the government to enact the County Councils Act of 1967.
This Act separated local government control into seven distinct and named counties; St Patrick, Victoria, Nariva/Mayaro, St George, St Andrews/St David, Caroni and Tobago. It redefined the roles and functions of each County.
The Village and Community Councils is the last rung in the Local Government, constitutionally bound to be non-political, accepting of every religious denominations and representative of every creed and race in our country.
Citizens cannot be barred from becoming a member of these organizations regardless of any of the aforementioned affiliations.
The point of contact to the administration is the politically elected Local County Councilors.
The National Association of Village and Community Councils also known as the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Village and Community Councils is the administrative body responsible for the management and development of the Regional Branches and indirectly the Village and Community Councils.
It is the regulatory body, vested with the power to provide legitimacy to all non government and community organizations.
The reasoning is simply that any organization seeking recognition from the state and its agency must adhere to the constitution that protects all citizens.
The constitution of these organizations must explicitly state that they are not racist, anti religious or prejudicial to Trinidad and Tobago Citizens.