Guysuco wants squatters near Herdmanston House moved
Five hundred street lamps arrive for city
City Council Round-Up
By Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
December 30, 2002

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The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) has asked the city council to remove the squatters who occupy land on the railway embankment along Lamaha Street in the vicinity of Herdmanston House. GUYSUCO is contending that the squatters' presence has a negative effect "when foreign dignitaries are hosted at Hermandston..." Over the years this House has accommodated visiting Presidents, Prime Ministers and leaders from Africa, Venezuela and Suriname among others. It was also the venue for closed door talks on constitutional reform involving some Caricom heads of government. The squatters who were originally given permission to plant various cash crops mainly green vegetables, but not to construct living quarters have gone a step further with the recent establishment of a church which is housed in a one-room shack with a single entrance. More than a month ago this deliberate flouting of the city's by- laws was mentioned in this column, but City Hall is still to respond. Before the coming of Mayor Hamilton Green, a former occupant of the mayoral chair, Compton Young with backing from the then security committee of the council, which was headed by the late commissioner of Police Lloyd Barker, with support from the City Engineer's department and the Constabulary carried out an early morning raid on the railway line embankment squatters starting from Vlissengen road going west. Shacks were broken down and the occupants were warned that they had abused their rights. That was then, this is now. At a recent meting of the council's city works committee, headed by Good and Green Guyana councillor CML John it was disclosed that the Town Clerk had written the government on the issue of "relocating the squatters..." The committee has recommended that the council make every effort as far as possible to have the squatters removed and that GUYSUCO be asked to make a portion of land available "to aid in this process"...

No special parking for British Diplomats An application from the British High Commission in Guyana for four parking slots on the western carriageway of Main Street opposite the British High Commission has been rejected by city 'fathers' and 'mothers'. The city engineer Mr Cephas James whose advice was sought does not recommend the granting of exclusive parking on council's reserve. Two weeks ago a similar request from the Bank of Baroda situated on the Avenue of the Republic and Regent Street was turned down by the council despite stirring appeals from Mayor Green and his deputy Robert Williams. The deputy mayor said parking is a serious problem in the city and must be faced frontally. He proposed a special meeting of the city works committee to consider the short, medium and long-term approach to parking in Georgetown. People's National Congress councillor Zaman Alli while agreeing that the council's reserves should be protected, wanted to know what was being done about those vendors who block the streets in the shopping areas while selling their wares.

Street lamps At long last the 500 street lamps have arrived, but the city council is yet to take a firm decision on which are the sections within the city the lamps should be erected. A document has been prepared on the allocation of the lamps but the specific placements have not been addressed as yet. The installation will be done by a private contractor who is to be monitored by someone from the city engineer's department.

Bus park at Stelling View The council would soon have before it a plan for transforming the former Stelling View market area into a bus park. The proposed park is intended to alleviate the traffic congestion around the Stabroek Market. The project is estimated to cost a little more than $10M. Earlier the works committee had considered an application from Ras Tom Dalgety, who is the public relations officer of the Guyana Rastafarian Council "seeking to occupy the Stelling View market area for the purpose of industrial, commercial and religious activities". This application was rejected because the council has earmarked the site for future development. To the readers of this column... a peaceful and fulfilling 2003.

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