Parish Councils Amendment Bill To Be Tabled

September 29, 2022

The Parish Councils Amendment Bill 2022 will be tabled in the House of Assembly tomorrow [Sept 30], Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Dr. Ernest Peets.

Minister Peets said, “Parish Councils serve our community well, and we have been working to review their governance arrangements. This Bill will resolve some inconsistencies identified in the Parish Councils Act and enhance governance of the Councils.”

“The amendments brought about by this Bill aim to achieve five things:

  • “1. First, the Bill transfers the appointment of Parish Council members from the Governor to the Minister. This is a legacy matter outstanding since the Government Authorities Act 2019.
  • “2. The Bill will adjust the composition of Councils from a mandatory 12 members to a range from three [3] to twelve [12] members, providing flexibility in their operations.
  • “3. The Bill also provides for the Minister to undertake a review of a Parish Council if required. The review can be initiated upon a Council’s request or by the Minister. Such a review will provide for further consideration of a Council’s governance structure, should any seek to become independent of the Government.
  • “4. Further, the Bill removes a legacy provision which can hold the Government liable for Parish Council expenses. This is a previously unused provision, and its removal does not affect Council operations. Councils will continue to receive Government funds per current practice.
  • “5. Lastly, the Bill provides for the administration of parish rest homes to be removed from the Act in the future. This will not come into effect until all safety, operational, financial, and legal matters are considered in respect of a care home. Only the Warwick Parish Council operates a rest home: the Lorraine Care Home.

Minister Peets added, “The Parish Councils Act 1971 has been in effect for over 50 years with hardly any amendments. We welcome this Bill as part of the Government’s commitment to wider reform and modernization. These amendments will help improve governance for the Councils.”

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