Local uniforms this time

City Council Roundup
By Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
November 2, 1999

Members of the city constabulary are to get a further set of uniforms... this time there will be local inputs.

It's understood that about one G million dollars has been earmarked for the purchase of an additional set of uniforms for the female section of the city police.

The material is to be supplied by one of the city stores that had done business previously with City Hall. All the material will be used to make skirts for the women constables.

Earlier this year an order was placed with a United States-based company with headquarters in Miami to supply ready-made uniforms for members of the constabulary.

The council paid up front some $67,000 (US) to the company but so far has only received a part of the order excluding skirts.

Investigations by the council have revealed that the US company has been put out of business and its warehouse in Miami has been closed down with more than $20,000 US still outstanding to City Hall.

The police have been called in to investigate, but some councillors are of the view that this probe will die a natural death.

The council is anxious to acquire the skirts so that the women constables could take part in this month's Remembrance Day parade ceremony at the cenotaph in Georgetown.

A city firm has been identified to make the skirts.

A businessman's pleas

City businessman Mr John DeFreitas, who owns Central Garage on the Avenue of the Republic and is a People's National Congress parliamentarian, has received quick reaction from City Hall to his letter writing campaign.

Mr DeFreitas recently sent letters complaining about the garbage pile-up behind his business with the attendant health and fire consequences.

At last Monday's statutory meeting PPP/Civic councillor Rocky Mann informed the council that he had received a letter from Mr DeFreitas pointing out the garbage pile-up and calling for something to be done immediately.

But it was soon revealed that other councillors around the horse-shoe table had also received similar letters from the businessman-politician seeking the council's intervention.

Good and Green Guyana councillor Pat Chase-Green wanted to know how long garbage was being dumped in what could now be described as an avenue behind Central Garage. She said the dumping of garbage anywhere in the city by irresponsible persons has gotten out of hand, while Councillor Mann offered to take the `Chief Citizen' in his car to show him what is really taking place in Georgetown.

An officer attached to the Medical Officer of Health Department told the council that it was not only household garbage that was being dumped in the avenue west of Central Garage, but also construction waste.

This prompted Mayor Hamilton Green to remark, "we are facing a serious problem to garbage disposal, in the city people are dumping garbage all over the place."

He noted that some people including businessmen had adopted cheap methods to dispose of their garbage, during the strike by garbage collectors.

When I spoke with the Medical Officer of health, Mr Vibart Shury last Friday, he told me that he and his officers had visited the area aback of Central Garage and discovered that in addition to garbage and construction waste, cardboard sheets and wooden pallets were also found in the avenue. He said these were being used by vagrants and homeless persons during the nights. The MOH assured me that his department had taken swift action to clean up the area, summing up, the Mayor said `a wave of lawlessness now characterises our society...'

Breaching the standing orders

The `Chief Citizen' wants to maintain `a certain level of decorum' at council meetings, and has asked the Town Clerk, Mrs Beulah Williams to remind councillors to brush up on the Standing Orders, so that they would be well aware of the procedures during statutory meetings. Overtime, Mayor Green had been complaining about the free-for-all which sometimes takes place around this horse-shoe table and no doubt the councillor who sits in the mayoral chair has been guilty of encouraging worthless and meaningless exchanges among city fathers and mothers. A common occurrence is for councillors who seem not to be paying attention, to seek recommitals of items which had already been dealt with.

The Mayor's request did not go down well with four of the most vocal People's Progressive Party/Civic councillors... Rudolph Harris, Rocky Mann, Victor Sobers and Prabhodial Sattan. Led by Councillor Mann, they told the Mayor in no uncertain terms that the move was aimed at restricting councillors when they rose to speak on issues and to give their views on things municipal.

Some time last month Green met with the leaders of the three political parties on the council to seek their support in this matter. He has suggested that under the item announcements, by councillors, what they want to say should be filtered through the Mayor's office.

A community reacts

Members of the Guyhoc community group are up in arms against a certain `gentleman' well known to readers of newspapers and television viewers, who they claim is dumping derelict vehicles in their community. A spokesperson for the community is claiming that the person who claimed that he was given permission to utilise the Knowledge Sharing Institute... KSI... building in their area is now dumping old vehicles and other materials in the vacant compound.

The new tenant says he wants to set up an academy to train youths in a number of disciplines. The spokesperson is of the opinion that the storing of these vehicles in the KSI compound could encourage vagrants to use the derelicts as a cover for preying on innocent residents and other persons visiting the community.

This community is also being used as a pilot project in the new IDB Urban rehabilitation plan for Georgetown. This would be a good opportunity for the joint city constabulary-city police exercise to be mounted which was mentioned by Mayor Green at last Monday's statutory meeting. The residents of Guyhoc Park intend to keep up the pressure on the intruder.

Unfinished business

Who is Pablo?... and why the constabulary is turning a blind eye on what is taking place outside the pavement of the building which once housed the BWIA office on Robb street.

It is impossible for anyone to use the pavement on the southern side of the building, where business is conducted every day and empty boxes and cartons are strewn in the gutter and on the road. And what about the noise nuisance outside the General Post Office building and on the opposite side of Pablo. Now that the constabulary is to get both locally-made and imported uniforms... it is hoped that their morals and vigilance would get a boost.

What is the opening time for the Bourda mall? I've noticed that at least one gate on North road is never padlocked making it possible for vagrants and animals to enter and leave at will.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples