King: Municipal, governorate councils key to achieving development

19 February 2023

His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday said municipal and governorate councils are key to achieving development and a pillar in political modernisation.

At a meeting with heads of municipal and governorate councils on Sunday, King Abdullah underscored the importance of cooperating with the councils, as they are the closest to and most familiar with the needs of the public.

Addressing the heads of municipal and governorate councils, His Majesty noted that for decentralisation to succeed, municipal and governorate councils are key, as they shoulder a major responsibility in improving the public’s standard of living.

The King stressed the need to support these councils’ roles across the various modernisation tracks.

In response to the heads of councils’ feedback on allocated budgets, His Majesty said capacity building of municipal employees will be central to the administrative modernisation effort, noting that decentralisation cannot succeed without the appropriate financial resources.

Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh highlighted the central role of municipal and governorate councils in political modernisation and in Jordan’s overall reform.

The prime minister added that the councils play an integral role in defining areas in need of development in each region, stressing that allocating the necessary financial resources to their work with centralised oversight will enable them to achieve development objectives.

Prime Minister Khasawneh said the councils are in direct contact with the public through their services, adding that improving the level of these services is very important.

Deputy Prime Minister and Local Administration Minister Tawfiq Kreishan said the government is committed to facilitating the roles of municipal and governorate councils, which will positively reflect on the services provided.

He pointed to field visits conducted by the government to better assess needs on the ground, highlighting a number of steps taken by the government to improve the livelihoods of municipal employees and enhance their job security.

A number of heads of governorate councils expressed their determination to continue implementing projects to improve public services while distributing development gains.

They also called for rounding up governorate councils’ budgets, as is the case with municipal councils, to allow for the completion of projects, in addition to forming central tender committees in governorates to identify urgent projects, and follow up on implementation.

For their part, a number of heads of municipalities said the upcoming phase will witness further engagement of municipalities in local development, based on the needs of each municipality, in addition to the launch of capital and development projects, in partnership with the private sector to create job opportunities.

Citing recycling projects as a priority area, they highlighted efforts to digitise municipal services and to increase cleanliness, highlighting the importance of offering incentives to municipalities to encourage more efforts towards providing quality services.

Royal Hashemite Court Chief Yousef Issawi and Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan attended the meeting.