Few fines issued for littering
-City Council hears
Stabroek News
January 29, 2003

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Littering, bad grammar and a transgressing vulcanising shop were some of the issues discussed at a four-hour statutory meeting of the Mayor and City Council on Monday, enlivened by bickering between Mayor Hamilton Green and heads of department.

In relation to decisions made at a previous statutory meeting it was noted that the officers of the council were to take action against a vulcanising shop on South Road which was hindering traffic. However, no action was taken and motorists and road users continued to complain, Deputy Mayor Robert Williams said.

December reports from various City Council departments took up much of the time at the meeting and in reviewing the constabulary's work it was noted that only seven cases of littering were completed by the courts. When called to state why only seven cases were prosecuted when garbage littered the entire city, clogging drains which took millions of dollars to clean, Chief Constable Gail George said that the figure did not mean that only seven persons were found littering or that only seven were before the courts. It was noted that the magistrate who dealt with municipal cases was also assigned to another jurisdiction.

She added that some persons found littering were issued with warnings and some of the dumping done by businesses at city corners and open spaces was done mostly under the cover of darkness.

However, she said City Constables were put under tremendous pressure not being properly equipped to deal with arrests in a situation in which members of the Guyana Police Force were targets for criminals. She said that some were afraid after being previous targets of bandits. The issue of being better equipped was given some attention but no firm decision was taken on the matter.

The filling of the position of Deputy Chief Constable also came up for discussion. The municipality has been without a deputy since December.

Green also asked that the Town Clerk, Beulah Williams provide him with regular briefings of works being undertaken by the M&CC but Williams countered saying that briefs were generally sent to him sometimes seeking a response but to no effect.

Green also requested that the Public Relations Department provide him with a copy of the final draft of releases and publications being sent out saying that many times they were riddled with grammatical errors and bad English.

PRO Royston King, who asked to be heard, told the council that while he appreciated that the mayor should see releases before they were sent out, he took offence to the mayor saying that his English was bad. Green replied that he was using generic terms and that he had Christmas cards and documents as proof.

Councillor Patricia Chase-Green commented on the bickering between the two, saying that if King had further objections to the Mayor's comments he should do so in writing to the Town Clerk. But Councillor Ranwell Jordan said that King had only been responding to questions Green had asked him.

Responding to a suggestion that the city's Medical Officer of Health be provided with a new vehicle as the vehicle assigned to him had been spending more time in the workshop, Green said that consideration was being given in the city's 2003 budget for the replacement of vehicles that have become a financial burden on the municipality.

There was no discussion at all of the previous week's dismantling by the City Engineer's Department of a fence erected by Demerara Shipping Company Limited. The dismantling of the fence had prompted expressions of concern by Green who said he should have been notified before it was done. The City Engineer's Department also held a press conference during which it said that the mayor did not have the authority to instruct it on demolitions. (Miranda La Rose)

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