This Sunday, 28 August, the first elections of chairpersons and members of local councils will be held in seven more amalgamated communities. Consequently, by the end of the summer, there will be 184 amalgamated territorial communities in Ukraine which are formed of almost 900 city, town, and village councils. It was so reported by Vice-Prime Minister - Minister of Regional Development, Construction, and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine Hennadii Zubko.
The first elections will be held in the Illinetska city and Vapniarska town amalgamated communities in Vinnytsia Oblast (Region), in the Liublynetska town amalgamated community in the Volyn region. In Zaporizhia Oblast, the chairperson and members of local councils will be elected for the first time in the Dolynska village amalgamated community, and in the Rivne region, the first elections will be held in the Myrohoshchanska, Loknytska, and Kozynska village amalgamated communities.
"Those communities have taken the course of development, assumed the responsibility for the future of their territories, and taken a sure step to the new quality of life. I hope that in the nearest future neighbouring communities will join them to have more resources and opportunities for development. In addition, I expect that the Parliament will adopt a legislative package on the decentralisation as soon as possible and that the Central Election Commission will assist in terms of prompt consideration of the submissions made by Oblast State Administrations and schedule the first elections in territorial communities which have decided to amalgamate", emphasized Hennadii Zubko.
The Vice-Prime Minister reminded that for the purposes of improving the mechanism for establishment of capable communities the following draft laws should be adopted:
- with respect to the voluntary accession of territorial communities (No. 4772 and No. 4773, dated 3 June 2016), which laws are governing the procedure for voluntary accession to the territorial communities that have already amalgamated;
- with respect to changing the boundaries of Rayons (Districts) in the course of voluntary amalgamation of territorial communities (No. 4676, dated 15 May 2016), which law will ensure that the process of scheduling the first local elections is in place, which communities have been established as a result of amalgamation of communities from different Rayons;
- with respect to ensuring the government support to the voluntary amalgamation of territorial communities (No. 3390, dated 2 November 2015), which law will facilitate the accelerated approval of the Long-term plans and amendments thereto and empower the Government to recognize, without a resolution of the Oblast (Regional) Councils, the established amalgamated communities as the communities that fit in with the long-term plan.
In addition, to enhance the financial and resource base of the local self-government, it is required to adopt the draft laws with respect to:
- the expansion of the types of city development documentation at the local level (No. 4390, dated 12 April 2016), which law removes the existing defects of the city planning activities, and makes impossible any unauthorized use and allocation of land;
- the expansion of powers of the bodies of local self-government in terms of the land resources management and tightening the state control over the use and protection of lands (No. 4355, dated 31 March 2016), which law has to introduce the principle of ubiquity of the jurisdiction of local self-government bodies in land relations, especially for the amalgamated territorial communities, and grants the powers to manage the lands outside the boundaries of settlements;
- the payment of fees for administrative services to the budgets of amalgamated communities (No. 4386, dated 12 April 2016), which law will facilitate the release of blocked accounts of the amalgamated communities so that the fee for the administrative services rendered through the Administrative Service Centres is paid to the budgets of such communities;
- the payment of personal income tax to the relevant local budgets at the actual place of performance of structural and separate subdivisions of a legal entity (No. 4209, dated 11 March 2016), which law establishes the grounds for making payments by business entities to relevant local budgets at the actual place of personnel employment.
Also, the legal environment for the functioning of the institute of headmen in villages and towns of the amalgamated communities requires being improved. For this purpose, the adoption of the following draft laws is required:
- with respect to the financing of preparation and holding of the first elections of headmen (No. 3535, dated 26 November 2016), which law will facilitate the financial support for the first elections of headmen for account of the state budget;
- with respect to the status of the village or town headman (No. 4742, dated 1 June 2016), which law will determine the status of the headman by establishing the spatial boundaries of his/ her activities, the scope of powers, grounds of and procedures for early termination of powers, and guarantees of activity;
- with respect to the elections of headmen (No. 4091, dated 17 February 2016), which law will introduce the possibility of electing one headman by voters of several settlements of the amalgamated community in accordance with a resolution of the relevant local council.