An Assembly member or officer shall not be served with a civil or criminal process from court on their way to attend or returning from assembly sessions, provisions in the new Local Government Act, 2016, (Act 936) indicates.

However, certain conditions are also attached to this, and other immunities in the Act, says Mr Johnathan Azasoo, a Director at the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).

He charged the assembly members to study and acquaint themselves with the Act, to be able to contribute meaningfully to decision making at their various Assemblies.

Mr Azasoo was speaking at a day’s workshop on the new Local Governance Act for assembly members in the Brong-Ahafo Region in Sunyani.

It was jointly organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Institute of Local Government Studies, with support from the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralisation.

Mr Azasoo expressed dismay about the bad attitude of some assembly members, who misbehaved and often obstructed assembly sessions.

“Some of these assembly members do this under the influence of alcohol, and with the new Act, such people would be found wanting” he said.

“An act may be deemed contemptuous if an assembly member obstructs assembly meetings, and that, offenders couls either be fined or jailed ” Mr Azasoo quoted from the Act.

He explained that the Act also protected the interest of assembly members when they were assigned by the Assembly to perform specific duties.

Mr Azasoo said, with these privileges, assembly members were expected to perform their duties effectively and efficiently to improve on the decentralization process.

He urged them to endeavour to meet regularly with their constituents to identify together, the immediate needs of the communities.

Mr Evans Bobie, the Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister told the assembly members that, it was their responsibility to explain government’s policies and programmes to the understanding of the local people.

He spoke against partisan politics which had bedeviled many of the assemblies in the region, and urged the assembly members to bury their political differences and forge ahead in unity for development.

Mr Bobie, who is the Member of Parliament for Asunafo North, commended the organisers for the workshop, which he said, would deepen the understanding of the participants of the Act and enabled them to function effectively.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh