New approach needed to make markets more competitive
-Williams City Council Round-Up
By Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
March 3, 2003

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A new approach in dealing with the administration of the five municipal markets especially Bourda and Kitty has been suggested by Deputy Mayor, Robert Williams.

In a reference to Bourda market, the Deputy Mayor, who chairs the Markets Committee told the last statutory meeting of the council that with the positioning of supermarkets around that particular market, something will have to be done to make shopping more attractive and more comfortable. If not, he added, revenue could dry up.

Councillor Williams cited butcher and fish stalls in Bourda, which are now facing competition from the nearby supermarkets on Regent and Church streets.

It was the People’s National Congress/R Councillor, Desmond Moses, who initiated the debate on the plight of the stallholders in Bourda Market by informing his colleagues about “the deplorable conditions” there not losing sight of the leaking roof whenever it rains damaging the stocks of the stallholders and cobwebs hanging from rafters in an environment which is smelly and unsanitary.

The PNCR Councillor urged Mayor Hamilton Green to mobilise a group of councillors to undertake a visit to Bourda Market to see for themselves where stallholders have to take their own protective measures to keep out the rain and the thieves.

As far as the Kitty market is concerned, Mayor Green was moved to state “... it’s a disgrace ...” The Deputy Mayor has hinted that privatising the municipal markets could probably be the solution to the problem. Bourda provides the bulk of revenue from the markets.

Lawless behaviour

Strong support for the criticisms by Councillor Moses came from the People’s Progressive Party Councillor ‘Victor’ Sobers who referred to the blatant flouting of the traffic and municipal laws on the eastern section of the Stabroek Market Square and in the vicinity of the D’Aguiar complex and Demico House.

Chairs and tables are placed on the car park and the street west of the business entity where people sit, drink, eat and play games into the wee hours of the morning with weekends attracting a large clientele.

In this wild west scenario, members of the City Police are unlikely to make themselves visible using the excuse that they fear for their lives ... as the ‘chief citizen’ always says at statutory meetings “we are now living in a state of anarchy.”

Legal matters

It’s been admitted that the Legal Unit within City Hall is unable to cope with the increasing number of court matters involving the Mayor and City Council.

Among outstanding cases is one brought against the Attorney-General and the Local Government Minister together with the Town Clerk by Attorney-at-law and City Councillor, CML John, who is chairman of the Council’s Legal Committee and a member of Mayor Green’s Good and Green Guyana party (GGG).

Councillor John, among other things, wants the court to “order the defendants to ensure” that elections for mayor are held for the Georgetown municipality without delay.

Another case deals with the Bourda Cemetery and the altering of its boundaries. The functioning of the Legal Officer was called into question, which led the Deputy Mayor to suggest the setting up of a “proper” legal department with the qualified staff. GGG councillor, Patricia Chase-Green was quick to defend the Council’s legal officer, pointing to the lack of basic facilities being made available to the holder of the office.

The Mystery document

A ‘mystery’ document is now making the rounds at City Hall. Copies of the document have been handed to members of the Finance committee headed by the Deputy Mayor and the Town Clerk.

At a meeting of the committee the chairman is reported to have called for the Council’s Internal Auditor to get involved and advise whether “there were any procedural breaches and possible implications that can affect the council’s information database.”

Although the matter has not yet been debated by ‘City Fathers’ and ‘Mothers’, information reaching this column reveals a ‘turf’ skirmish between the City Treasurer, who is the head of a department and the head of the IT Unit who reports to the Town Clerk like any of the senior officers.


Two former ministers in the Burnham era, Mayor Green and the leader of the PNCR faction on the council and General Secretary of the opposition Party, Oscar Clarke, last week gave readers of this newspaper an insight on how to play the blame game. The topic was the Georgetown City Council. May I remind both of these politicians that the late leader of the PNCR, Mr. Desmond Hoyte, when asked on a ‘One on One’ programme some two years ago, for an assessment of the performance of the thirty City Councillors, in his own inimitable way responded, “They have done nothing, they should all go.”

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