Residents and committee members of a Sports Committee in West Ruimveldt, Georgetown, are accusing a contractor (name prov
ided) of a scam in relation to works that were executed on the playfield in the ward.
Committee members and other villagers are alleging that the contractor was paid large sums of cash to conduct works on the playfield, but instead, merely tore down the fence, and in some sections just placed back material that was already there before the repair works were attempted.
Sources at the Mayor and City Council have confirmed that some $7.7M was allocated by Local Government Authority for several months now for the project which is being spearheaded by City Councillor, Tricia Richards.
Residents and young sports enthusiasts yesterday told this publication that several appeals to Richards about the alleged haphazard works on the playfield have gone on deaf ears for months, and that Richards has blocked some committee members, preventing them from making telephone contact. Yesterday Richards disputed these claims saying that she was easily accessible by phone at any interval.
She informed that committee members of West Ruimveldt were “ignorant of the processes that surround acquiring the funds for the projects”, indicating that after the project report was submitted from her end, it has to be addressed at Ministry of Finance and other entities, before monies is allocated to the City Council.
Richards added that to date some $5.7M has already been acquired in the coffers of the City Council for the project, but the slow process in releasing funds at that entity is what would have been delaying works on the playfield. She did not comment on how much money had been paid to the contracting firm for works already executed on the playfield.
She also explained that beside the playfield project, there are several others that the Council has to engage as well.
Richards indicated that while the monies have been allotted to the Council for quite a while now, checks and balances, and other processes had to be executed and submitted before any works are attempted. She also said that works by engineers assigned to the project is done in phases, which may have led to the delay in completion of works on the playfield.
Added to that, she said that the bill of quantities for the project depicted repairs to the playfield, and not a complete overhauling, as suggested by the committee members. She noted that accountability is of vital importance in the process, hence the need for engineers to check scopes of work and submit reports before the City Engineer, Town Clerk, Treasurer and other officials sign their approval for works to be executed.
A visit to the playfield yesterday showed large mounds of earth at various locations, while large sections were overgrown with bush. Residents are lamenting that almost every form of recreational and sports activities at the playfield has been halted for months now.
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