Govt sends memo on resiting of vendors
City Council Round-Up
By Cecil Griffith
August 4, 2003
|Related Links:||Articles on Georgetown|
|Letters Menu||Archival Menu|
A special select committee of councillors from the Legal Affairs and Security, Public Health and Markets committees is scheduled to meet this week to discuss the MOU.
Last week acting mayor Robert Williams, accompanied by the acting Town Clerk Mr Andrew Garnett, carried out on-the-spot inspections of the Water street site on Robb Street where Water Street vendors are to be accommodated.
The stallholders have been told that no one would be allowed to peddle their goods on the Water street pavement and the adjoining roadway between Guyana Stores on the north and KFC on the south. Vending will not be allowed around the new site and a warning has been given to those persons who traverse Water Street selling a variety of goods including mosquito netting to beware.
In the first phase of the resiting exercise the council is to provide adequate lighting as well as appropriate sanitary facilities as the infrastructural work continues. This column has been informed that the city police would be visible throughout the day on the pavements on Water Street to ensure that decency and order are maintained. It is evident that the Williams-Garnett combination is working well and has shown positive results ... keep up the good work, Robert and Andrew... as the “New Era Vendors Mall” takes shape.
At last Monday’s statutory meeting of the council, councillors from the Good and Green Guyana (GGG) and the People’s National Congress (PNCR) expressed skepticism bordering on mistrust over President Bharrat Jagdeo’s intentions in the resiting of the Water street vendors.
GGG councillor Harold Kissoon wanted to know why the deputy mayor and the acting town clerk were going ahead with the resiting plan, when all the municipality had to work with is the copy of correspondence between the Finance minister and the Attorney- General which said the government will abide by the ruling of the court in the matter between Toolsie Persaud Ltd and the government.
Councillor Kissoon like the PNCR’s Oscar Clarke and Junior Garrett would have preferred an official document from the President setting out the government’s position on the issue.
Councillor Clarke who heads his party’s faction on the council, while insisting that everything should be done to make the vendors comfortable in their new surroundings, noted that if anybody is to be sued in the follow up of the legal matter it would most likely be the city council.
“We should get an official statement from the government ...it does not augur well...”
A pension plan
The Legal Affairs and Security committee headed by attorney-at-law CML John, has been tasked with looking at the implications of a motion calling for pensions to be paid to city ‘fathers’ and ‘mothers’.
Councillor Kissoon, who moved the motion at the last stautory meeting of the council, argued that after serving a certain number of years councillors should be entitled to some form of protection under the law for services rendered.
He referred to members of the National Assembly who enjoy similar rights, pointing out that most of the councillors who now sit around the horseshoe-shaped table at City Hall have been there since September 1994.
GGG councillor CML John who seconded the motion and a former minister during the Forbes Burnham era said as a matter of principle anyone rendering such service to Local Government deserves financial recognition.
GGG councillor Gwen McGowan in support said “we work very hard...after all 9 years are not 9 days....”
The PNCR’s Oscar Clarke while not against the principle of councillors receiving pensions, wondered on what basis the quantum of pension would be worked out for each councillor.
Deputy Mayor, Williams, who presided at the meeting in the absence of Mayor Hamilton Green who left for the United States last month, suggested that the motion and its implications legal and otherwise be sent to the Legal Affairs and Security committee for careful consideration.
Congratulations to the three senior officers in the City Police who have received promotions, including Super-intendent Winston Crawford, who will now be the number two man in the constabulary with the rank of senior superintendent (acting).
Now that the pavements along Water Street have been cleared, it is timely that the national police intervene and get cracking against those hire car drivers who block the street corners in the business area soliciting passengers in the crudest of approach-es...Traffic chief your attention is needed...as part of the city’s restoration exercise.