PRESS RELEASE- The Gros Islet Constituency Council in collaboration with the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED) is finalizing a five-year Local Economic Development (LED) Plan.
This strategic plan is meant to counter the effects of the recent global economic crisis and employ creative means of stimulating the local economy. The council is developing the LED Plan with the assistance of Canadian LED practitioners, local resource persons, private and public sector partners and other key stakeholders in the community.
LED is driven through partnerships with local government agencies, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), stakeholders and community groups as central figures of development.
The LED planning process involves the conduct of local economic assessments of community assets (e.g. human, natural, and physical, among others), identification of community strengths and weaknesses, and addressing opportunities and threats facing the local economy. This process is then followed by a validation workshop that involves stakeholder engagement and participation.
The ultimate aim of the LED Strategy is to support the local council in its mission to improve the town of Gros Islet and its main attractions, upgrade facilities, support job creation, enhance employment opportunities and further sustain jobs in the MSME sector.
In March 2014, the Gros Islet Constituency Council undertook the LED planning process in Gros Islet Town. The process involved a review of the Gros Islet Synthesis Report and the sharing of the findings with other stakeholders.
The report identified limitations of Local Government Council as one of the key challenges to economic development, affecting community competitiveness, sustainable growth and inclusivity for the local community.
After considering the findings of the synthesis report, the stakeholders recommended the development and implementation of an institutional arrangement to carry forward projects, programs and initiatives, as a major priority.
The Ministry of Local Government endorsed this recommendation, and facilitated the appointment of a Steering Committee to guide the establishment of a management structure, comprising relevant institutional partners such as community residents, CBOs, state agencies and the private sector, for the sustainable development of the town of Gros Islet.
The Steering Committee, comprised of government agencies, NGOs, community leaders and the private sector, had its inaugural meeting on Thursday July 10, 2014. The committee will establish a sustainable community, public and private sector partnership that will spearhead LED in the town of Gros Islet.
Members appointed Terrence Elliott as Chairperson and Cynthia Soni as Deputy Chairperson. The committee will later create several sub-committees to fulfill their three-month mandate. Among the projects to be considered by the committee are the Gros Islet Waterfront Enhancement Plan; a Marine Management Plan; and the Gros Islet Bus Terminal/Business Enhancement Area.