A Workshop for Councillors of Cochin Corporation was organised by Centre for Public Policy Research on “Effective Decentralised governance through participatory approach” on 14th June 2016, Tuesday at Town Hall. The aim of the workshop was to orient the councillors on their and roles and responsibilities as an elected representative at the local ward level. The workshop was inaugurated by Ms. Soumini Jain, Hon’ble Mayor, Cochin Municipal Corporation. Also the occasion was graced by Shri. K.J Antony, Principal Opposition Leader; Shri. Amit Meena, IAS, Corporation Secretary and Smt. A.S Anuja, Additional Secretary, Cochin Municipal Corporation.
Dr. Dhanuraj, Chairman, CPPR welcomed the guests and the Councillors, briefing the works of CPPR, and emphasizing the need for collective responsibility and the need for open discussion. The Hon’ble Mayor also stressed on the need to address the issues like waste management saying that the workshop would be an enlightening experience and would help in orienting the Councillors to address the issues effectively. The workshop was conducted in two sessions with a stress on decentralization of the Local Self Governments in the state.
CPPR developed various modules on waste management, public space management, street development etc to assist the councillors in effectively implementing various initiatives at their level. The councillors were engaged by the resource persons of CPPR in a group activity to developing plans for their ward. The councillors enthusiastically participated in the group activity session, presenting the plans they had come up with after discussion with their respective groups to address the topics given to them under the broad area of waste management; the topics being: segregation-collection mechanism, monitoring mechanism, complaint and grievience redressal, IEC and capacity building mechanism. The activity not only helped the Councillors brainstorm on the issues and come up with unique solutions based on the guidelines provided to them but also gave them an opportunity to harness their soft skills. CPPR recommended to the councillors to lead the process of forming various committees and emphasised the need to involve communities, resident groups to deal with various local issues. It was notable that the Mayor and the leader of opposition were present throughout the sessions and actively participated in the workshop. K.J Sohan, former Mayor was also present for the workshop and addressed some of the queries Councillors had. Gracy Joseph presented a vote of thanks on behalf of the Corporation, concluding the workshop.
This workshop is a part of a series of workshops CPPR would conduct in different Panchayats, Municipalities and Municipal Corporations, with an aim to help the local bodies address various developmental issues, emphasising on a participatory and decentralised approach of governance.