Concert Hall rehab plan presented City Council Round-Up
By Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
December 18, 2006

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With all its current troubles city councillors have been presented with documents relating to the rehabilitation of the concert hall situated in the compound at Avenue of the Republic and Regent Street.

This includes lighting, furniture, curtains for the stage, repairs to the piano, roof, floors and windows as well as the refurbishing of the entire building which also houses the town clerk's office, and the council chamber where city 'fathers' and 'mothers' meet.

This is among the many projects listed by the Georgetown Rehabilitation committee headed by city businessman Chris Fernandes.

Last Monday the co-ordinator of the programme, Rufus Lewis appeared before councillors, where he outlined and explained the details of the programme leaving a few doubting Thomases when he was finished.

According to the co-ordinator, the Jagdeo government is to be approached for funding. The three-storey building and its steeple are in a state of disrepair from neglect with boards falling off the structure at intervals during business hours. All this had been drawn to the attention of councillors a long time ago

There has been talk about getting financial help from the Heritage Foundation but nothing has happened.

Involving the business community

Mr Lewis mentioned the names of a number of business personalities, who have expressed their willingness to participate in the exercise. Among them are Khan's watch world, MFK trading company, the New Building Society, Demerara Bank, Gonsalves auto works, Guyenterprise, GT&T and the Chris Fernandes group among others.

Included in the works to be undertaken are repairs and the painting of rails at bridges in the city and the construction of revetments.

The Toolsie Persaud market on Water Street is to be shielded from the roving eyes of visitors with the construction of a wall.

Several statues are to be spruced up including Queen Victoria minus a hand in the forecourt of the city hall compound facing Avenue of the Republic, and the bust of Guyana's first executive President L.F.S. Burnham situated in Kitty, this is by special request

Walking a tight hope

The leader of the People's National Congress Reform wing on the council, councillor Oscar Clarke brought all his diplomatic skills to bear (he was once Guyana's High Commissioner to Africa) when the council debated the recent spate of strikes by council workers. In the absence of Mayor Hamilton Green and his deputy Robert Williams, both of whom were out of the country, councillor Clarke, who is also general secretary of the PNCR-1G party was elected to chair last Monday's statutory meeting.

It all happened when the spate of strikes by city council workers was raised, with councillors representing the Good and Green Guyana and the PNCR leading an attack on the Guyana Labour Union (GLU) and its General Secretary Carvil Duncan who was roundly denounced and described as a threat to the council.

Councillor Desmond Moses, a former PNCR member, now with the Alliance For Change called for the intervention of the police to investigate the union and Mr Duncan who was described as callous.

Councillor Clarke allowed ample time for city 'fathers' and 'mothers' to vent their feelings before he summed up. Striking a balance ‚€¦"the council will take a strong position in support of the workers not being paid ‚€¦we are in the corner of the workers and not the union‚€¦"

It's worth mentioning that the leader of the PNCR Mr Robert Corbin is also the President-General of the GLU.