Law firm moves to court over Avenue of the Republic parking plan
City Council Round-Up
By Cecil Griffith
February 17, 2003
Yet another company in Georgetown has moved against the city council for breaking its own laws.
The law firm of Cameron and Shepherd situated on the Avenue of the Republic has sought an injunction restraining the council “from causing or permitting the eastern side of the western portion of Avenue of the Republic at the junction of Croal Street, Georgetown to be used as a park or terminus for mini bus and taxis ...”
The action concerns a bid by owners of property on Avenue of the Republic who are competing for space to restrain the council from carrying out its statutory duties to regularise traffic in Georgetown and accommodate the minibuses and taxis.
The court has not granted an interim injunction ex parte as sought by the plaintiffs, Joseph Arthur King, Hari Narayen Ramkarran, Josephine Whitehead and Rafiq Turhan Khan, who are trading under the name Cameron and Shepherd, but ordered that the council be served.
The council has decided that it will defend that action. Action is already pending against the city council relating to the use of the parapets of the municipality. The plaintiffs are claiming damages in excess of $50,000 for breach of statutory duty and damages in excess of $50,000 for nuisance.
Only last month, four companies doing business on Avenue of the Republic and Commerce Street succeeded in a court action preventing the council from allowing vendors to put up stalls along South Street between Longden Street and Avenue of the republic. Since than a number of tents selling snacks and food have been erected on the same area which was in dispute.
Incidentally, anyone including city ‘fathers’ and ‘mothers’ visiting City Hall would be able to see these tents.
Meanwhile, barefaced abuses of the council’s building by-laws continue unabated all over Georgetown, with many of them claiming that monies have been paid and verbal permission given by employees of the City Engineer’s Department to go ahead and build.
Fingers have also been pointed to a few councillors, preying on the ignorance of citizens who have been active participants in this breach of the by-laws.
These charges which have reached this column need the immediate attention of the City Engineer, Cephas James and the councillors. And may I ask the minister responsible for Local Government ... what has become of the request by the council to investigate the workings of the City Engineer’s Department?
It seems doubtful that City Hall would be in a position to provide additional street lamps for the city in time for Mash.
At the last statutory meeting of the council, it was revealed that the legal committee, headed by attorney-at-law, C.M.L. John has had to correct the original draft which had been prepared at the previous meeting.
The John committee discovered eight mistakes in the document replacing the words ‘king’s enemies’ with ‘state’s enemies’. The council has signed a contract with Cummings Electrical Com-pany for street lighting installation and repair services in Georgetown.
The council also has to iron out some details dealing with the supply of power, with Guyana Power and Light (GPL).
A disappointed Mayor Hamilton Green announced to his colleagues ... “Mash is going to come and there will be no lights ...”
A spokesman for the City Engineer’s Department has said that a report on where and how the street lamps would be located is already with the Town Clark’s Office.
The Clerk of Market, Schuler Griffith, has informed the council through the markets committee that $9M in market rental is outstanding and of this amount, $8M is owed by stall holders occupying the Merriman Mall from Alexander Street to Orange Walk.
On the first of this month, these stall holders were given notice to pay the outstanding rents by February 15 or action would be taken against them by the council.
The stall holders had asked for a meeting with officials from the market department and the constabulary to work out arrangements for part payment of the back rents. In the absence of such a meeting taking place, the indebted stall holders met with an officer from the Town Clerk’s office.
One of the persons doing business on the Mall told this column that he and several others are willing to pay part of the monies owed but find it difficult to meet the one third which is now being demanded by the Clerk of Markets.
Up to last Saturday, the vendors were still occupying their stalls and there has been no word from the Clerk of Markets.