Green says no to protective wall
City Council Round-Up
Out of control
By Cecil Griffith
June 12, 2002
Articles on Georgetown
The suggestion from a certain councillor that a concrete wall may have to be erected on the northern portion of City Hall (along Regent Street) as a precautionary measure has been ‘shot down’ by Mayor Hamilton Green.
At the adjourned statutory meeting of the council last Monday, the Mayor said "you cannot put up a brick wall around City Hall" pointing out that "anyone could lob bombs over it, if the intent is to destroy buildings and people in the compound.”
The ‘Chief Citizen’ was responding to a query from People’s National Congress councillor Zaman Ally on the state of readiness of the constabulary, should its members be called upon to defend themselves. A well-equipped armoury was his main concern, calling for the city police to be equipped with sophisticated weapons, more so since another attack by bandits similar to what occurred on Saturday June 1, 2002, could be in the making.
According to Mayor Green, the weakness in the system is a lack of proper intelligence gathering by the law enforcement authorities.
While fleeing the crime scene after robbing and killing an employee of a Regent Street Cambio earlier this month, the bandits sprayed the headquarters of the Constabulary on Regent Street with bullets as constables - both junior and senior ranks - ran for cover.
The Town Clerk is in possession of some of the spent shells from the guns fired by the robbers.
Only a few days before the shooting and robbery took place the council’s legal affairs and security committee headed by councillor Llewellyn John had concluded that the time had come for the city constabulary to be equipped with "contemporary" weapons.
This decision was taken in light of the spate of armed robberies and killings which occurred before the Regent Street incident.
The armoury of the constabulary now consists of revolvers and shotguns.
The council has retained the services on a voluntary basis of Mr Clayton Hall a qualified horticulturist to advise and make recommendations on the maintenance of trees, plants and shrubs under the control of the municipality. He will also be looking at conditions at the Promenade Gardens, which seems to have been neglected over the years.
Mr Hall, who has already made a tour of the city accompanied by officers of the city engineer’s department, will also advise on whether some of the trees in what was once the Garden City should be retained or chopped down, as well as maintaining the horticultural standards in Georgetown, the Guyana capital.
Over the past months a number of palm trees along North Road and Merriman Mall have fallen, in one case damaging a car. A vehicle was also damaged when one of the council’s trees was uprooted in the vicinity of Brickdam and Camp Street.
Mayor Green is heading a team which is now in Cuba attending a meeting of mayors of sister and friendly cities.
The topics to be dealt with are the environment, social and cultural work, heritage and the restoration of cities.
During the visit to Cuba the Republic’s Chamber of Commerce will be staging Expo Caribe 2002. Following his visit to Cuba the ‘Chief Citizen’ will travel to Miami in the United States, for the 8th Inter-American conference of mayors and local government representatives.
Deputy Mayor Robert Williams has drawn the attention of city ‘fathers’ and ‘mothers’ to what has been described as an unhealthy situation at the Number 40 car park in the vicinity of Demico House and not too far from the magistrate’s courts.
He told councillors that the situation in and around the bus park has gone out of control with vendors taking over the pavement, and the removal of the old lamp poles which were laid down sometime ago to ensure orderliness.
The collections of fees from operators of the Number 40 bus route, which had started sometime ago as an experiment, the council was informed, needs to be looked at immediately. The sanitary conditions in this area also cry out for attention by the council.
The Deputy Mayor wants the council to work out a new arrangement with the bus operators which would be enforceable, the situation is chaotic.
The Medical Officer of Health is again in this column’s spotlight over the increasing number of food and cake sellers in the city most of them without a food handler’s certificate. The department also needs to look at the many unauthorised shops and stores which have entered the food selling business ignoring the basic sanitary prerequisites.
That part of the Merriman Mall between Cummings and Light Streets is once again being used by youngsters who indulge in playing cricket to the annoyance of the old and not so old citizens who would like to make use of the facilities afforded by the city council. In the absence of signs telling people not to misuse the area, members of the city police are never on duty to ensure that the by-laws are adhered to.
Hire car drivers continue to defy the law by parking their vehicles on Robb Street between Bourda Street and Orange Walk. Is there something going on between the city police and the national police? An answer is needed from City Hall.
Out of control