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Tamar Shamatava: We and the Local Self-Government

The local self-government and society 

Some problems require that the local self-government and the society work together to solve them. But... 

A grove of old trees stretching alongside Agmashenebeli Avenue was uprooted in Kutaisi last year (the trees were relocated to another place but to no avail - they did not adapt and died) and replaced with palm trees. Local residents responded with protest. Palm trees are nice, no doubt, but...People must be informed about such matters in advance and have a voice in deciding what is right and wrong... 

The relocation of David Agmashenebeli Statue is another example of the local self-government's arbitrary decision. Local self-governments are elected by the people and, therefore, must be accountable to the people and responsive to their needs and interests. People must have a voice in the development of political, socio-economic and cultural programs at the local level and be able to control their implementation. 

People have a legal right to participate in making decisions that affect their lives. The local self-government law of Georgia stipulates that "local self-government is the Georgian citizens' right and ability to regulate and manage, within the limits of the law and under their own responsibility, local affairs through local self-government bodies and in line with interests of local communities". 

The local self-government and budget

Just like a family's spending is determined by needs of its members, the local self-government should spend its budget on what the local communities need most of all. The local budgeting process should be designed to take into account interests and needs of different social groups - to this end, the local self-government officials should regularly meet representatives of various social groups (so far, unfortunately, such meetings have had little positive effect). 

The local self-government should allocate more budgetary funds to help large and low-income families and families without breadwinner. Demographic policy should be the local self-government's responsibility. It is a welcome relief that families with three and more children get state-funded child benefits. It is an issue of national significance.

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