Green still sees resistance to change
City Council Round-Up
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Parking in the city
By Cecil Griffith
May 13, 2002
Articles on Georgetown
After a series of meetings with personnel from the various departments within the city council, Mayor Hamilton Green says there are still small pockets of resistance to changes in the City Hall administration.
These changes he has emphasised are most necessary and urgent if the council is to carry out its mandate to provide a better service to the paying public.
The 'chief citizen' made these observations last Saturday morning when we met at the Bourda Mall, shopping for greens, vegetables and fruits. It was about 6.30 am and the Mayor was already dressed for work in a brown shirt-jac suit having already done his early morning exercises, bicycling included.
Since last year with the announcement that a consultant firm (Sandra Jones Associated) had been contracted to carry out an "institutional strengthening" exercise at the municipality the two unions representing council employees and 'city fathers' and 'mothers' have been engaged in verbal skirmishes over this move.
The Guyana Labour Union and the Guyana Local Government Officers Union contended that they were not properly briefed on the role of the consultants. Both the Mayor and his deputy, councillor Robert Williams who is also chairman of the council's finance committee have brought to the attention of councillors at statutory meetings, what they described as the non co-operation by some senior officers with the consultants.
Mayor Green said his meetings with staff during the past week gave him the opportunity to explain the background to the invitation to the consultants and he was able to clear up some of the misunderstandings expressed during the exchanges which he noted were in an atmosphere of give and take.
The council has set up a working committee which includes representatives of the two unions to ensure the smooth progress of the institutional strengthening of the organisation. The full council is yet to decide whether members of this committee are to be paid and how much.
The government through the Minister of Works has earmarked $21M to be spent on roads and outfalls in the city.
Sixteen million dollars has been allocated for roads in Georgetown under the M&CC with $5M going towards outfalls.
The city council is to identify the proposed works on a priority basis and has been asked to deal with the matter expeditiously.
City Hall has sought the co-operation and assistance of a number of government ministries and the police in finding a solution to the traffic and parking of vehicles in the capital, which has now reached chaotic proportions. A walk down Water Street, if this is possible, reveals the downtown area being choked to death by traffic which is now out of control.
At a recent meeting held in the council chamber the 'chief citizen' raised the question of special parking for diplomats, designated corporate zones and taxi parks in Georgetown. Reference was made to the events which occurred consequent to September 11, 2001 in the United States which has prompted foreign diplomats in Guyana to seek restrictions on parking around their embassies in Georgetown.
Another concern was expressed at the meeting over onsite parking where people are putting up large three, four and five-storey buildings without proper provision for parking.
The parking of containers on the city's streets as well as what to do about dray carts around Cummings and Charlotte streets will also be looked at.
Last Saturday afternoon at about 5 o'clock, city councillor Desmond Moses of the PNC/R had to alert members of the constabulary outpost on Regent and Bourda streets to an obstruction on the Regent Street pavement not too far from the outpost.
Three horses with a filly, two of them tethered to the unlocked gate of the old Bourda cemetery took occupancy, thus requiring members of the public to use that busy part of Regent Street. The councillor's intervention though timely only resulted in the animals being taken into the cemetery.
A new dumpsite is in the making at Garnett Street and Vlissengen Road, where once stood the Liberty cinema.
Constabulary vigilance is needed on Robb Street between the Bourda market and the Bourda Green to deal with certain hire car drivers who continue to defy the no parking sign on the street.
When will Stabroek Market be handed over to the council? It seems as though the rehabilitation works would not be completed until yearend. The area on Water Street east of the market defies description and one wonders how human beings could spend most of the working day in such surroundings. It boggles the mind.
More Government help
Parking in the city