Monday, June 23, 2008

Liu: Councillors should provide mobile numbers to their constituents - The Star


THE newly-appointed councillors must be diligent in serving the people and thus must be prepared to provide their mobile numbers to the people in their respective zones.

Selangor local government, research and study chairman Ronnie Liu said councillors must make themselves reachable if they want to serve effectively and solve the problems in their respective areas.

Ronnie: ‘The new councillors must go down to the ground as often as possible.’

“The new councillors must go down to the ground as often as possible and listen to the people and pick up their grouses and attend to them immediately. Even their mobile numbers should be made available so that the residents can have access to them when the need arises,” he said.

Liu said councillors would be assigned zones within their city or municipality so that they could better serve the people.

“Each councillor would have their respective zones. If it is in Petaling Jaya or Klang, it could be 15 neighbourhoods in one zone while in Sabak Bernam it could be nine to a zone. Our mechanism is to ensure better service,” he said.

Ronnie added that the new councillors who are to be sworn-in soon are required to have a census on each household within their zone to better understand the needs of the neighbourhoods.

Ronnie said a councillor who has a good relationship with his area residents would make it easier for the local authorities to implement beneficial decisions or policies.

“Our state wants to encourage public participation in local decision-making with one aim to help build accountability for officials, councillors and citizens. Actually it is law that public officials notify the residents of community-level public meetings by posting notices before the meeting,” he said.

He added that public participation provides an opportunity for people to speak up about local proposals before they go into effect.

Ronnie added that councillors would listen, record and solve community problems but also filter down decisions taken at the council’s sub-committee and Full Board meetings to the people.

“We encourage councillors to form focus groups involving a targeted group of residents where discussions could bring about ideas and opinions. It is like a think-tank to build a synergy of thoughts and ideas,” he said.

Ronnie also encouraged the residents in Klang to attend the monthly Full Board Meeting.

“While much of the responsibility of engaging citizens in local decision-making falls upon the local council officers or councillors, the residents also need to become actively engaged as it will help to craft the policies and decisions that will shape the future of their community,” he said.

No comments: