City desperately needs $167M from govt -worker took away sluice keys
Stabroek News
December 13, 2006

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City services could grind to a halt unless government makes available some $167 million to keep the wheels turning, city councillors heard on Monday.

Acting City Treasurer Andrew Meredith reported to councillors attending the statutory meeting on the meetings he has had at the Finance Ministry. He said there is to be a follow-up with Finance Minister Ashni Singh today and with the Guyana Power and Light Inc.

Meredith hopes that the Jagdeo government would agree to making the $167 million available - as an advance on this year's and next year's taxes and payment now of the 2007 government subvention - to keep the council's services operating.

The meeting was held in the light of the strike by some weekly and daily paid workers and it competed with noise from a vociferous crowd outside the City Hall main gate on Regent Street to debate the present situation facing the municipality. Standing orders were suspended to give councillors time to air their views.

The acting town clerk made the stunning disclosure that there was no money available to pay garbage contractors and their services might have to be reduced.

In addition, attention was drawn to what was described as an act with could have had national implications: a worker who was "roughed up" by some of his colleagues, who are on strike, had taken away the keys which would have made it impossible to operate some of the sluices in Georgetown last weekend.

Carvil Duncan, General Secretary of the Guyana Labour Union, which represents the striking workers, was denounced.

The meeting was presided over by PNC councillor Oscar Clarke in the absence of Mayor Hamilton Green and Deputy Mayor Robert Williams, both of whom are out of the country.