The Discussion of the Decentralisation Matters Got Together Inhabitants from all over the Kirovohrad Region

To participate in the event, city mayors of the Kirovohrad region, chairpersons and members of Rayon (District) and village councils, representatives of national, regional and district mass media, as well as public activists and ordinary individuals interested in this topic came to the Oblast centre. Totally, more than 100 persons took part in the discussion which appeared to be too emotional sometimes.
Known Ukrainian journalist and TV presenter Anna Bezulyk was the moderator of the event. Yurii Hanushchak acted as the chief expert of the national level.
The matters discussed were very pressing and, so to say, sensitive for the inhabitants of the Kirovohrad region: development of the rural areas, budgeting processes, transfer of property to the amalgamated territorial communities, repair of roads, improvement of the infrastructure, organisation of the healthcare system at the local level, the educational system in the communities, and others. Also, representatives of Rayons (districts) in Kirovohrad Oblast expressed their dissatisfaction regarding the pace of the legislation improvement, which legislation pertains to the decentralisation and land distribution outside the boundaries of settlements. Some of them saw the imperfections in the fact that too strict requirements are imposed on the communities in terms of the provision of administrative services, interaction with the territorial bodies of the central executive power, such as the police, tax service, and others. Also, it was reminded that communities lack highly-skilled personnel.
During the discussion, all participants had an opportunity to ask their questions and receive an exhaustive answer.
The amalgamated territorial communities of the Kirovohrad region, whereas there are already three, were represented by Yurii Huldas, Chairman of the Malovyskivska ATC, and Tamara Doroshenko Deputy Chairwoman of the Novoukrainska ATC. The pioneers of amalgamation of the Kirovohrad region readily shared their experience, developments, and ideas with their "not yet amalgamated" colleagues. Yurii Hanushchak shared his views regarding the prospects of development of the amalgamated territorial communities adducing examples of not only Ukrainian ATCs but also adding international examples (Georgia, Poland, and France) to his arguments.

Chairman of the Malovyskivska amalgamated territorial community Yurii Huldas noted, "The availability of a "fugleman" who will lead the way in the correct direction is one of the characteristics of the community today. However, at the same time, the residents of the community strictly supervise the actions of the person they are following. It would be impossible otherwise. In my case, the head of the Rayon (District) was replaced six times in six years. In such conditions, there will be no order, therefore somebody should take up the running. Moreover, this should be done now, when the state offers support to such initiative in terms of financing and otherwise. And most importantly, just now we have the real opportunity to change the outdated system of government and start developing actively. We should take advantage of it".
Regarding the land issue, Yurii Hanushchak commented as follows: "It is clear that one of the most sensitive issues of the amalgamated territorial communities is the vesting with authority to manage land resources. However, in order to make use of that land in a qualitative manner, one should be well prepared and have explored the issue. As the very least, it is required to develop all necessary city development documentation which will specify the intended use of land. That will impose strict rules of game for all: for inhabitants, for business, and for investors. The Khmelnytskyi region is a vivid example: a foreign investor selected the Khmelnytskyi region out of several Ukrainian regions for a soy processing plant because exactly that required documentation had been developed there. Together with that plan, the investor was provided a guarantee of its business protection, and he made the right choice. And the communities will struggle for such investors, therefore, those making correct steps now will have a positive result in the future. Such steps now fall within the scope of duties of community heads. Because the movement is on the run. And people, when they see the movement, they begin following it and joining the processes. And it is very important".
The event was held at the initiative of the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine and financed by the DESPRO Swiss-Ukrainian Decentralisation Support Project in Ukraine.
Representatives of the non-governmental organisation "Joint Action" (Kirovohrad) acted as partners in the preparation of the event.
Short link to the news: http://despro.org.ua/~xUGiZ