- CLGF Report
Born out of the amalgamation of the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew in 1923, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) continues to guide the growth and development of Jamaica’s capital city. With a population of nearly 700,000 and an area of just over 185 square miles, the municipality is responsible for administering local government in the capital.
The municipality is bordered by the famous Blue Mountains in the extreme north, home of the world’s number one coffee, and Kingston Harbour in the south – one of the finest natural harbours in the world. To the east, is the once notorious city of Port Royal, home of Caribbean Sea pirates, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692 paving the way for the blooming of Kingston. To the west looms Highway 2000, a 230-kilometre highway leading into the rustic agricultural and tourism interior and coasts of the country.
The municipality faces many challenges and deficiencies. Nevertheless, we are working assiduously towards providing solutions; always mindful of our stated strategic objectives of keeping the municipality clean, safe and thriving, serving our citizens and other stakeholders, attracting and increasing the flow of cash and cultivating a culture of effectiveness in the Council.
KSAC, in keeping with its strategic goal of serving our citizens and other stakeholders, embarked on a series of consultations aimed at obtaining feedback from citizens to inform decision making and enhance its service delivery. As a Council, we intend to continue this trend and look forward to more citizen participation in future town hall meetings and other forums. We also aim to provide feedback as we strive to be the ‘leading innovative local authority by 2015, with transparency, integrity and professionalism as our hallmark’.
The Corporation has also embarked on a number of recent initiatives including citizens engagements. These include the establishment of a Youth Advisory Task Force, Dancing in the Park which fosters the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, among other initiatives, with the promotion of safety and protection of our children at the forefront.
One of KSAC’s core functions is regulating and monitoring orderly development in the Municipality. Since 2012 KSAC has focused on creating a culture of efficiency and effectiveness. In this regard, establishing a faster Development Approval Process for projects within the municipality has been a priority. The Corporation has held numerous stakeholder meetings and made significant internal changes towards improving the processing of Development Approvals and continues to review its internal processes.
As a modern local authority, KSAC is committed to strengthening its IT capacity to respond to the organisation’s needs so that our customers can be adequately served.
We are equally committed to building and strengthening relationships between the city of Kingston and other municipalities across the world. Our relationship with our international partners is critical and 2015 will see us taking steps to revive and establish relations with numerous international municipalities.
The KSAC has represented Kingston, the capital of Jamaica as the cultural, industrial and commercial hub of the country, thus enabling a strong revenue base and structural elements for development. The recent designation of Kingston as a Creative City of Music by UNESCO is a ‘big thing’ for all of us since Kingston, a very small yet globally recognized City has contributed-and continues to contribute immeasurably towards global and sustainable development using the creativity of its people.
Kingston is the first Caribbean city to be appointed as a Creative Music City and this is evidence of the hard work and this is an honour that is well deserved and highly regarded, and the KSAC, having worked extensively in partnership with other key stakeholders, is indeed happy that this signal honour has been conferred on the city. This is, indeed, testament to the creativity, vibe and spirit of a gifted people, naturally endowed with unequalled talent and boundless enthusiasm.
Notwithstanding the many challenges and deficiencies that face Kingston as with other major cities in the world, the importance of local government and serving the interest of our citizens are placed into sharp focus.
The KSAC continues to support numerous charities and events aimed at improving the lives of Jamaicans. This is in keeping with the Council’s strategic objective of serving our citizens and other stakeholders.
For the fourth year, the KSAC has demonstrated exemplary corporate social responsibility by partnering with the Sigma Foundation and Jamaica National Heritage Trust to support the Sigma Run (the Caribbean’s largest 5K road race) and Kingston City Run respectively. Both events have helped to improve healthcare in Jamaica and assist the most vulnerable among us. They also serve to lift staff morale and encourage participation in giving back.
We continue to work assiduously towards providing solutions; always mindful of our stated strategic objectives of keeping the municipality clean, safe and thriving, serving our citizens and other stakeholders, attracting and increasing the flow of cash and cultivating a culture of effectiveness in the Council.
Since 2012, the KSAC has focused on creating a culture of efficiency and effectiveness. In this regard, a faster Development Approval Process for projects within the municipality was established and maintained. We hosted a series of stakeholder meetings and consultations in collaboration with our citizens and other stakeholders resulting in a faster turnaround time (90) days and significant internal changes towards improving the processing of Development Approvals. We have ensured continuous review of our internal processes through capacity building by introducing new technologies to members of our Technical Services Department and providing ongoing up- skilling for staff members.
Regarding physical changes, we have established a new and improved customer service lobby aimed at improving the customer service experience. A Customer Service Charter was also developed with training conducted to ensure that our customer service team is knowledgeable, professional and effective in responding to and anticipating the needs of customers. All this is in keeping with our commitment to strengthen our capacity to provide a world-class service that meets the local needs and enhance the quality of life of the citizens of Kingston and St. Andrew.
Under the distinguished patronage of Her Worship the Mayor of Kingston Senator and Councillor Dr. Angela Brown Burke, J.P., a weekly initiative called Dancing in the Park was established in the recently renovated St. William Grant Park, an oasis in the middle of downtown Kingston. The initiative fosters the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, revenue generation and social integration through a different genre of dance each week.
Another brainchild of Mayor Brown Burke is a major KSAC achievement: A Youth Advisory Task Force (YATF), which was established to assist the Council in effectively engaging youth in the Municipality both as a Local Authority as well as in the 40 electoral divisions which fall within Kingston and St. Andrew.
The youth body continues to advise the Council on issues affecting our youth population and provides recommendations on how the KSAC can assist. The initiative continues to promote youth and local economic development which is in keeping with our aim of making Kingston a youth-friendly City. In observance of Youth Month 2015, the YATF partnered with the National Youth Service (NYS) to hold a Personal Development Workshop on Leadership.
Local Economic Development (LED), in recent times, is one of the hallmarks of the KSAC and in seeing its potential benefits, Central Government has sought to make mandatory the facilitation of LED as a priority of each Local Authority.
The KSAC is committed to this and has taken steps to highlight LED as central to our success. We have partnered with entities like Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) Project – funded by the Canadian government – to provide technical advice and support as we prepare stakeholders and Council employees to deliver this Programme.
To date, several LED projects have been brought on stream. Our flagship project is the KSAC Enterprise Assistance Programme (KEAP) which has provided financial and technical assistance to young entrepreneurs in Kingston and St. Andrew.
The KSAC continues to lead from the front, particularly in the control and prevention of mosquito borne illnesses such as the Dengue, Chickungunya and Zika viruses. The Council has anchored aggressive public relations and public education campaigns in partnership with the local public health department. These include two Town Hall Meetings and numerous stakeholder and sector group meetings which formed part of a series of collaborative consultations as we continue to spread awareness and discuss methods of prevention on these issues as well as taking questions and feedback.
While we are in action mode regarding the Zika Virus, we have increased our efforts, due to at least one confirmed case of the virus in the island. This is crucial to the KSAC’s mandate of keeping the Municipality clean, safe and thriving, which also provided an opportunity for the Council to sensitise citizens and other stakeholders about some of the work being done to improve health standards in the Municipality.
In collaboration with other agencies, the KSAC implemented a vector control programme in various communities across the Municipality which comprised training cleanups and house-to-house inspection to detect breeding sites as we keep working together to keep Kingston and St. Andrew ZIKA-V Free.