1.3 Provincial Councils and Local Government
It is important to review the role of Provincial Councils (PC), on the one hand to cut any waste occurring and on the other to provide more responsibilities to justify their existence.
The official working language of each Provincial Council should be determined solely by that Council. It is incumbent upon the national government to deal with the Provincial Councils in their official language. To facilitate this, the national government will have to expand the resources made available for interpretation services where it is necessary.
The local police dealing with local crime should be the responsibility of the Provincial Council, while the national police should focus on tasks such as border protection, drug-related issues, international criminal activities and terrorism etc. The police operational matters whether it is local or national would be the responsibility of the police command without the interference of any governing entity, at any level. Every Provincial Council should set up their own Provincial Police Monitors to examine misconduct of their police forces.
The Provincial Councils should have the necessary powers to negotiate with foreign entities to attract investment within the investment policy frameworks and rules set out by the national government. This would be part of the COGESL process.
The Provincial Councils should be at their liberty to compete with each other to hold international events within COGESL while the national government should make selections on merit. The national government is within their rights to refer to international bodies to assist them in this process.
A council participatory budgeting model requires that citizens meet in popular assemblies throughout the council jurisdiction to deliberate on how the Council budget should be spent. Most of these assemblies are organised around geographical regions within the council jurisdiction; a few are organised around themes that have a city-wide scope – like public transportation or culture.
At the beginning of the budget cycle each year, these assemblies meet in plenary sessions. Council executives, administrators, representatives of community entities such as neighbourhood associations, youth and sports clubs, and any interested inhabitants of the council jurisdiction attend these assemblies, but only residents of the region can vote in the regional assembly. Any city resident participating in a thematic assembly can vote in those. Members of the local government and community delegates jointly coordinate these assemblies.
These participants discuss and identify development priorities. These projects are in turn submitted to local elected bodies that formulate and set budgets for local plans. Final plans are presented back to the assemblies for discussion.
These permanent structures will empower grassroots level local communities.