Monday, July 22, 2024

Local Government Resumes Municipal Boundaries Re-Delineation Exercise

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Following Cabinet’s decision in July 2021, the Department of Local Government resumed activities to complete the Municipal Boundaries Re-Delineation Exercise that began in 2012.
Under Section 2 of the Town Council Act, the Minister of Local Government is responsible for the declaration of municipal boundaries. Seven of the nine municipalities are currently engaged in a process for the re-delineation of their respective municipal jurisdiction. The clear delineation of municipal boundaries is an important element of local governance as it provides the legal basis for the provision of municipal services, collection of revenue, municipal elections, enforcement of local regulations and by-laws, and the general good governance and administration of the local space.
In the implementation of the re-delineation exercise, the Department of Local Government with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Elections and Boundaries Department is engaging with key stakeholders, including town councils, respective village councils and communities where there are no readily distinguishable boundaries or where traditional boundary lines are not definitive.
In the case of the Benque Viejo Town boundaries, two meetings between the Benque Viejo Town Council and the Succotz Village Council have been convened to review the proposed re-delineation of the Benque Viejo Town boundary. The most recent meeting was held on December 19, 2022. Succotz Village Council was represented by the chairperson and three councillors. The Benque Viejo Town Council was represented by the mayor and three councillors. At this meeting, it was determined, based on the dialogue between the two parties, that the proposed delineation be revisited and re-proposed in consideration that all lands, dwellings, properties and other public and private assets that are traditionally known to be a part of the respective communities remain as is and/or clearly delineated for the elimination of any doubt as to which jurisdiction they belong to.
A subsequent meeting of the parties is yet to be convened to validate the revised proposition before the matter is to be taken for public review in both communities before its final confirmation.
In this regard, the ministry clarifies that no final declaration of new municipal boundaries for any of the seven participating municipalities has been completed at this stage.

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