City councillors against expanding city limits City Council Round-Up
By Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
October 15, 2001

City councillors have come out against any expansion of Georgetown as set out in the Greater Georgetown Development Plan, prepared by chartered Town Planner professor Akhtar Khan.

After noting that it took nearly two centuries to partly develop the 15-square miles of which Georgetown is comprised, the council explained that at present the city lacks proper drainage, proper roads, a complete and integrated sewerage system, as well as a complete integrated and efficient potable water supply system.

The lack of an efficient and reliable source of electricity and an adequate and well-maintained housing stock have also been given as reasons for rejecting the plan. It was pointed out in a document circulated to councillors that "these deficiencies are not the makings of the city council, in fact council has no control over them..."

"All of these deficiencies are the results of expansions of the city, thrust upon council..." said the document.

The 'city fathers and mothers' are of the view that government should first make every effort to solve the problems in what is now Georgetown, before adding many others by increasing the area of the city from 15 to 65 square miles.

Other questions left unanswered are land use, zoning, national heritage sites, and buildings and increases in traffic together with provision for parking.

The document points to the omission of work programmes from the plan that should be undertaken by the Georgetown Sewerage and Water Commissioners, the Ministry of Public Works, and the Central Housing and Planning Authority.

Also left out are the Guyana Power and Light Company and the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company.

The council is arguing that the plan should contain programmes showing the proposed projects to be undertaken by these agencies during the plan period of 2001 to 2010. The plan has been discussed at several fora sponsored by the Central Housing and Planning Authority and the city council. It was also debated by councillors around the horseshoe table.

Help for the abattoir

Mayor Hamilton Green has expressed surprise that "primitive and brutal methods" are still being used to kill animals at the city's abattoir.

The Chief Meat and Food Inspector, Mr Andrew Garnett told last Monday's statutory meeting that the two stun guns used to kill the animals are not in working order. Slaughtering is done by executioners using knives or hitting the animals in their heads.

"What is the price of a stun gun for use at the abbatoir? asked the 'chief citizen'. He was given a price range of 320 to 400 pounds sterling.

The head of one of the foreign missions in Guyana is reported to have promised to consider what assistance his government could give in relieving this situation.

GPL under attack

The council is taking a hard line against the Guyana Power and Light Company accusing it of treating the municipality like any other customer.

Mayor Green is insisting that the power company change its attitude when dealing with City Hall pointing out that GPL uses some of the council's facilities in providing a service to its customers. One of these is using the council's land for the planting of poles.

"I am not satisfied with the way we are dealing with GPL, the company is asking for its pound of flesh..."

The bone of contention is over sums of money owed to the power company by the municipality. Another sore point is the failure by the company to meet street lighting needs.


***It's heartening to see so many members of the city police on duty in the busy shopping areas of the city especially Water, Robb and Regent streets. As is expected the vendors will be coming onto the streets and pavements in large numbers, as they demand their rights to make a living... the constables and officers must be resolute in dealing with those who encumber the pavements.

***At the last statutory meeting a GGG councillor had to complain to Mayor Green that neither tea nor coffee was being served and only water was available to quench the thirst of senior officers who were in attendance... there was no response from the 'chair' nor from the TC.