Green queries wisdom of Prince Charles touring City Hall
-new approach to zoning

City Council Round Up
with Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
January 31, 2000

Mayor Hamilton Green, in an attempt to avoid a Royal embarrassment is not in favour of a certain aspect of the programme which is being planned for His Royal Highness Prince Charles.

According to the programme of activities for the first day of the visit to Guyana Prince Charles is to pay a courtesy call on Mayor Green, at which the symbolic key would be presented to His Royal Highness, according him the freedom of the city. This is to be followed by a conducted tour of the City Hall building, after which he will walk across Charlotte Street to the High Court building.

At Monday's statutory meeting the 'Chief Citizen' asked what is there for the Prince to see at City Hall...?

"The concert hall needs refurbishing, the piano is out of order and the pipes are not working, in addition to that they are old..." summed up the mayor.

The Prince is scheduled to be taken on a tour of the High Court building, followed by a drive through the Parliament Buildings compound and then a visit to St. George's Cathedral.

His Royal Highness is also expected to be taken on tours of Tiger Bay and Albouystown. The council's Social Development Committee chaired by GGG councillor Patricia Chase-Green intends to spruce up those parts of Georgetown where Prince Charles would be visiting.

He is scheduled to arrive in Guyana on February 25th, spending three days.

Mission unaccomplished
"To provide and administer these services which promote and enhance the health, security and well-being of the citizens of the municipality...To ensure an attractive, safe and healthy environment in the city and to mobilise financial and other resources in pursuance of these objectives...and as far as possible engage the collaboration of the citizens in these activities..."

The above is the Mission Statement of the Georgetown City Council whose members sit twice a month presided over by the leader of the Good and Green Guyana party Mayor Hamilton Green.

It is obvious that from the state of the Guyana capital, very few if any of the city 'fathers and mothers' are aware of the existence of this Mission Statement and what it really means.

Is the council ensuring an attractive, safe and healthy environment in the city and how is City Hall mobilising financial and other resources in pursuance of these objectives?

Engaging as far as possible, the collaboration of the citizens in these activities is also mentioned.

The Mission Statement forms part of the diaries which are now being handed out to councillors, senior officers and other staff.

At last Monday's statutory meeting some councillors were peeved over the late arrival of the diaries which were printed in the Caribbean at a cost of some US$2,000. One woman councillor said she would not accept the foreign printed diary with a further complaint that the distribution should have taken place during the first week of the month since money had been allocated in the 1999 budget. The council has also printed its own calendars for this year.

Zoning in the city
The zoning of the city is again engaging the attention of the Central Housing and Planning Authority. At a recent meeting of the Authority with Housing Minister Shaik Baksh in attendance, a new approach was outlined aimed at returning some order to the whole of Georgetown.

Minister Baksh has blamed both the Authority and the City Council for allowing the situation to reach a stage in which the reserve zone in Georgetown no longer exists.

A review is to be made of the Reserve Zone. The council's representative on the Authority, GGG councillor Llewellyn John is reported to have pointed out to the Minister "the delays and frustrations of the working of the judicial system".

A personal experience
A dengue carrying mosquito has made a direct hit targeting the Medical Officer of Health, Dr Vibart Shury.

The M.O.H. was present at the last statutory meeting of the council, when Mayor Green announced that Dr Shury was away from his desk for a few days, suffering from dengue fever.

Tid bits....The council's budget for this year is now due to be presented around the middle of February. Facing a money crunch attention is being given to reducing staff and ensuring greater efficiency.

The staff at the Treasurer's department would be honouring a promise made late last year by the chairman of the Finance Committee, Deputy Mayor Robert Williams to give rebates to property owners who had been up to date in their payments of taxes for the year 1999. The promised percentage has been slightly reduced.

I find it very strange that an expert from Canada is in Guyana advising on the setting up of an up-to-date abattoir in Georgetown and other parts of the country and the City Council's Chief Meat and Food Inspector Mr. Andrew Garnett is not yet involved.