Guidelines for assigning Le Repentir lots to be reviewed
City Council Round-Up
By Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
November 18, 2002

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The City Council is to take a fresh look at its guidelines relating to the allocating of spots in Le Repentir cemetery.

At last Monday's statutory meeting of the council, Good and Green Guyana (GGG) councillor Patricia Chase-Green revealed that certain owners of funeral parlours are buying up spots in the cemetery. In some cases she added funeral homes have purchased up to 40 spots at a time where there is easy access to the burial sites.

The guidelines which were put in force some 10 years ago are to be reviewed. There is a recommendation from the council's special development committee headed by councillor Chase-Green that "no one must be allowed to purchase 'numerous' spots for future use and that "purchase of all spots must be made through the Treasurer's department". The operations of the cemetery, which continues to be a drain on the council's depleted cash flow, keep recurring at nearly every statutory meeting. After all, one councillor observed not for the record, 'people must die.'

About two years ago a committee headed by former Mayor Ranwell Jordan and including GGG councillor Harold Kissoon investigated this section of the city's administration and one of the recommendations was the privatisation of the cemetery.

The security at the burial ground was also considered with a proposal that only the main gate from Vlissengen Road to Sussex Street should be left open day and night. All others must be closed between 6 am and 3 pm and open to allow for burials up to the 6 pm.

The seat of government
The vendors are now threatening the seat of government, having been attracted to the business which now comes from persons who use the George-town to Linden bus services. People's Progressive Party/C councillor Rocky Mann wants the council to take immediate action to halt a "deteriorating situation" outside Parliament buildings in the city.

He singled out the parking of buses not only on the southern side of the building on Hadfield Street but also on the Avenue of the Republic. Councillors' attention was also drawn to the mushrooming of food and drink stalls in this area stretching onto Hadfield Street opposite the Saint Stanislaus College. There have also been instances, said councillor Mann, where empty bottles and food boxes have been thrown into the Public Buildings compound.

Mayor Hamilton Green in his response referred to a court order involving a law firm on Hadfield Street and the council over a move by the municipality to set up a bus terminal on Hadfield Street just outside Saint Stanislaus college. The 'chief citizen' described as absurd the traffic situation on the Avenue of the Republic between Croal and Robb Streets, while taking a swipe at the judiciary. "Judges are acting in a manner that is not conducive to democracy", he said.

The Mayor once again called for the support of all with the interest of the city at heart to help City Hall in rescuing Georgetown.

It's been disclosed that arrangements are being made by Mayor Green to hold a public forum to outline and formulate a business plan for the city. The forum is fixed for November 28. The general public as well as GPL and GT&T are to be invited to send representatives. When the question was asked who is funding the forum Mayor Green replied "we are providing water."

The falling trees
Up to last Monday city 'fathers' and 'mothers' were still debating how to go about placing warning signs on trees along the city's streets and avenues.

Over the past few months at least two motor vehicles have been damaged in the city by falling trees on Croal Street and Brickdam. The owners of the vehicles have made claims against City Hall.

Mayor Green with support from the council wants the signs to be put up on the trees owned by the municipality immediately, in order to cushion any litigation in the future. The signs should read: `Persons parking here do so at their own risk.' The Town Clerk is urging caution in this approach to the situation, after noting the cost of such an exercise.

"Nonsense", said the GGG's Chase-Green the signs could not cost more than $500 each. She is certain that with the rainy season now on, more of the council's trees will be falling.

A picture is worth a thousand words... if this is true, I hope city councillors would take heed of the front page picture in yesterday's Stabroek News of a church on the railway embankment on Lamaha Street. Until a few months ago the building was a dwelling house and then suddenly it was transformed into a church belonging to the Jesus is the Answer Ministries. What's going on Mr Mayor and councillors?
Food and drink vendors in the city have now resorted to tents which are being set up in various parts of George-town regardless of the by-laws and sanitary conditions. May I suggest to the 'chief citizen' that he and the other city 'fathers' and 'mothers' undertake a well-publicised tour of the city before Christmas Day. I am sure it would be an eye-opener for a majority of councillors.

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