Belize City Council Manifesto Launch Print E-mail
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Written by Dale mcDougal   
Thursday, 23 February 2012 00:00

CITCOWith its conference room packed to capacity with candidates, members of the party hierarchy and supporters, the United Democratic Party launched its municipal manifesto in Belize City on Thursday, February 16, 2012. Perhaps one of the most important milestones for the party in this election season, the Manifesto is seen a comprehensive list of plans that the team, led by Darrell Bradley, will implement for the next three years.

 In the manifesto, the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow’s message underscored the importance of the strengthened partnership between the City Council and Central Government and commended the town councils nationwide for their assiduousness in improving the lives of city and town residents. He writes, “With assistance from Central Government and prudent management of their own resources, your UDP city and town councils have done a commendable job, especially considering the financial constraints, maintaining and upgrading infrastructure, overseeing the delivery of basic services for the comfort, safety, and cleanliness of our municipalities and residents, and helping to lead the way in creating the right atmosphere for economic and social development”.

The manifesto examines four very crucial areas, which the UDP says is integral to the development of the city. The document looks at the economy and job creation in Belize City: infrastructure; accountability, financial sustainability, and good governance; and the improvement of the quality of life to all Belize City residents and visitors.  

Among the initiatives to spur economic growth and job creation are the development and implementation of a strategic investment plan for Belize City, which, according to the manifesto, will target multi-national companies to set up businesses in Belize City. Efforts to improve economic activity in Belize City are also hinged upon the completion of the Fort George Tourism Zone project. It is seen as an economic hub for the city with a focus on increased tourism activity, traffic control, and as an entertainment zone that will host visitors from the rest of Belize and across the region. This also includes the expansion of the Tourism Zone to include Marine Parade and Newtown Barracks. Plans also include the construction of a new municipal airport and a new Belize City Center; working with Central Government to develop the Chetumal Street Bridge Zone into a new commercial area of the city; formalizing the development of the Northern Highway-Coney Drive area as a new central business district for Belize City and ensure the adequacy of city services in this area; and developing an ongoing employment training program and job resource center for the city.

To ensure accountability at City Hall, Mayoral candidate, Darrell Bradley says that the council will “…ensure that at city hall that all hiring is based on merit.” He says that this is to guarantee that whenever residents go to the council and meet staff, they will have “the utmost confidence that they are well-qualified, well-trained, (and) motivated to deliver that kind of service that you need.” He explains further that “integrity, principle, (and) good values begin at the very top and we want to ensure that your mayor and your ten councilors are people who can deliver for you.” That’s why, he says, the UDP will subscribe to a code of conduct “and we will apply the provisions of the prevention of corruption in public life to ensure that you can have confidence in the integrity of every single person there – from the office of Mayor right down.”

The council says that they will embark on a 100-day plan so that in its first days in office, this code of conduct becomes the mainstay of governance at the municipal level.

On the issue of improving the quality of life of city residents and visitors alike, the council will develop a citywide quality of life enforcement program, where city enforcement officers will be dispatched to regulate traffic, while monitoring and enforcing good citizen behavior to dissuade littering, public drinking, loitering, and defacing public property. Under this as well includes a transportation plan for Belize City involving appropriate level of regulation for taxies, buses, horse carriages, bikes and pedestrians. 

In total, the overall plan for the next three years by the UDP Belize City Council encompasses 64 specific plans they will be implementing in its next term of office. Copies of this manifesto are now available.