Merriman Mall ugly sight - Moses
City Council Roundup
by Cecil Griffith
February 9, 2004
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People's National Congress Reform (PNCR) councillor Desmond Moses has describ-ed the Merriman Mall as an ugly sight and called on the clerk of markets to do something about getting the site cleaned up.
Although the councillor did not pinpoint what part of the Mall he had found unsightly undoubtedly that portion from Alexander Street to Orange Walk was in his sights when he made the comments at the last statutory meeting of the council.
Enquiries reveal that more than half of the stalls are either unoccupied or being used as bonds by absentee grocery owners. The payment of stall rents to the Bourda market office is also a major problem, thus posing a burden on the revenues collected from the city's markets.
When Mayor Green's Good and Green Guyana party (GGG) won 12 of 30 seats at the last municipal elections some 9 years ago development of the Mall was billed as the opportunity for the small entrepreneurs to come into their own and expand their businesses.
This was not to be and the small man either remained small or went out of existence leaving owners of tailor and dress-making shops as well as barber and hair dressing salons struggling to do business from a site which everyday becomes less and less customer friendly, despite provision of running water and electricity.
For example all the bridges leading to that portion of the Mall are in need of repairs and security is non-existent. The council gets a steady flow of revenue from the portion which takes in Orange Walk and Light Street and which is available for business Wed-nesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. At long last these long suffering vegetable, fruits and greens vendors not forgetting the coconut and crab oil stall holders have been supplied with overhead lights.
A revelation by the clerk of markets Schulder Griffith that he is still awaiting authorisation to collect rents from people operating stalls in Orange Walk and on the periphery of Bourda market is beyond comprehension.
Only the coconut vendors on Orange Walk pay stall rents. Instead of the council looking to increase rents in its markets, attention should be paid to and the question asked... Why are these entities not making money...? An investigation by an independent body would reveal some shocking administrative lapses.
Preparations are well advanced for the convening of an association of the Municipalities in Guyana.
A draft constitution of the proposed body is in the hands of Mayor Hamilton Green following discussions at a forum held last November.
Among the objectives of the association are to unite the municipalities of Guyana for the sustenance and development of the respective municipalities and their communities, to be an advocate for and make representation to levels concerned with appropriate legislation, policies and programmes and to facilitate the exchange of information among municipalities of Guyana and the Caribbean.
The objectives will be pursued without regard to any party political consideration.
The association, it is envisaged, will be governed by an executive committee made up of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and a committee representing members from each municipality as agreed upon by the association.
Arrangements are being made for a second forum this month to ratify the draft proposals.
Woman power at
Woman power was in evidence last month when GGG outspoken councillor Patricia Chase-Green was elected to take the mayoral Chair in the absence of the mayor and his deputy while at the end of the horseshoe shaped table sat Town Clerk Beulah Williams who was supported by her deputy and two assistants, all women.
Councillor Chase-Green got the nod from other city 'fathers' and 'mothers' in the absence of former PNCR mayor Ranwell Jordan who arrived minutes after the GGG councillor took her seat and called the meeting to order. All in all she gave a creditable performance.
Ashmin is in.... Nigel is out.... Council has accepted a recommendation from its City Works Committee to allow Ashmin's Trading Company Inc. to carry out landscaping works to an area on Hadfield Street close to the company's head office. A curb wall is to be erected to protect the electric poles.
But Mr Joseph Johnson proprietor of Nigel's supermarket had his application for a parking facility to be located on Robb Street opposite his business rejected. The City Engineer Cephas James in his reasons for rejection said there is an existing car park on the northern side of Robb Street, parking on both sides of the road is not permitted and the parking facility which is being requested would be in front of private properties...
Finally, a question for the City Engineer...was permission given by your office for private individuals to park heavy duty and other vehicles on the East Street avenue between Middle and New Market Street and the erection of a flagstaff surrounded by bush on that portion of the avenue dedicated to the memory of the late PNC councillor Jose Da Silva?