The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is set to host a National Capital Planning Commission
(NCPC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Communities, Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission.
The National Capital Planning Commission will be focusing on issues related to zoning, noise nuisance, and business intrusion in residential areas.
The Commission will review numerous plans which had been prepared and submitted to City Hall over the years and to develop a new one with a structured approach to urban renewal.
The aim is to redesign the future of the city, with the path of modernization and strategic development.
Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Patterson, said to the M&CC, “The purpose of this activity is one that should have been fulfilled a long time ago for coordinate updates and most importantly developed communities.”
It is intended to bring together councillors, business persons, central government and other groups and individuals to aim for a common good.
“We must plan; your job as Councillors and other members of the community include, reviewing the numerous academic and technical skills conducted over the years and coming up with plans relevant to today’s realities.
The Minister said that she believed the commission will have a positive impact on the future and the capital for many generations to come.
“You the members of the city council and all other Guyanese are trustees of the nation’s capital, you hold the baton. The council was elected but we are all stakeholders; you were elected by the people to manage this city.
“You have a crucial task; you have inherited a city upon which many others before have left their marks, even before Georgetown got its name our capital already had a rich and diverse history,” Minister Patterson said.
Starting as a small town under the Dutch administration, Georgetown grew in size. When the British captured the colony the area was already large enough to be a city. Georgetown became the administration centre of the colony.
The distinctive rectangular brick patterns are unmistakably Dutch; the diverse design of buildings, names of streets and avenues reflects a variety of heritage. “You the new trustees therefore have inherited a jewel upon which you will
undoubtedly make your mark, the challenge is for you to make a positive contribution to the city and leave an enviable legacy”, the Minister said.
Some of the challenges the city face include draining a coastal city which is one metre below the high tide level of the Atlantic Ocean, unlawful activities and crime, ignorance of zoning laws, squatting, improper vending and the major issue of garbage disposal, noise nuisance and now the new parking meter fiasco.
The Minister said that the administration is aware of the need for a new culture— a culture of cleanliness, a culture of community building and building homes instead of houses.
“We must work together to build a prosperous city, one in which business will flourish, a city in which residents can enjoy peace and rest after a hard day at work, a capital in which industries and home will find their rightful place and be partners.
“We must work to make our capital self-sustaining without putting undue burdens on residents. We must find innovative solutions to our problems; we must consult and engage our constituents before we make decisions.
“If we do not serve the citizens well they have the right to fire us through ballot boxes,” Minister Patterson stressed.
“Our capital is in need of renewal and repair, our vital importance is renewal and repair according to plan. Plans which will build our capital and improve our comfort, our standard of living and condition of work. As councillors and officials you bear duty bound to keep yourself informed of the policies of central government.
“You must have the political will to stand by your promises and fulfil them. The Ministry of Communities and by extension the government will stand by you and with you. As the government we promise them the good life,” the Minister concluded.
Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green said, “I am encouraging you all to support and cooperate with both the national and local government authorities if possible sustainable development of our national capital city.
“With unity and strength we can achieve great things. There will be fights, there will be struggles, there will be challenges and differences but there must be change and through it all I believe that we can do it.”
The Mayor said, “The City Council can provide reasons for a national planning commission where all hands, heads and hearts can be joined together to do what is necessary for our future generation.”
“I pledge that City Council with your support and us moving forward with the development of the city of Georgetown. Today let us commit to doing it all together.
“As of today we will move forward towards the development of this beautiful city we call ours— the city where many of our children attend school, the city where we want betterment for all and a good life.
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