We the undersigned refer to a news report in another newspaper on October 15, 2019, captioned ‘PPP running Lethem Town Council like a cake shop’. Editor, as a result of many misleading statements, we therefore totally wish to refute the unsubstantiated allegations made by the APNU councillors, former Mayor Carlton Beckles and Yolanda Moffett.
Regrettably they were not informed early by the Town Clerk of the postponement of the Council meeting focusing on preparing for Lethem Town Week. However, two factors have to be taken into consideration.
Firstly, the statutory meeting of the Council was postponed due to the lack of a quorum as a result of several councillors being assigned responsibilities that demanded urgent attention on the day of the meeting.
Secondly, in spite of Mr. Beckles claim that the council’s majority continues to make decisions without inviting the APNU/AFC councillors to meetings, the minutes of the statutory meeting held in April 2019, records that the three APNU councillors, inclusive of Beckles, stated they would not participate/cooperate with the Mayor and the rest of the council in Lethem Town Week Activities for 2019. Despite letters of invitation sent to APNU councillor Moffett, she remained a no show at all town week committee meetings. It must be noted that during its deliberations for the Lethem Town week celebrations, the committee proposed that invitations be sent to government functionaries inclusive of Minister of Communities and Leader of the PPP/C. No decision was made regarding the Leader of the PPP/C to launch Lethem Town Week.
It is true that APNU councillor Beckles sought clarity on the finances for 2019 Town Week. We, the undersigned, support his call that a detailed Financial Report should be published. But this can only be done after we have concluded the Town Week activities.
This PPP/C led Council will not break the laws and financial rules; unlike what happened under the APNU+AFC dominated Council which managed the 2017/2018 Town Week Committee and still cannot account for funds received and spent in that year respectively. This is what Mr. Beckles should be calling for– the publication of the financial statements under his watch. The fact that many businesses have demanded cash from the council upfront today is due to the history of the previous council not honouring their bills in 2017/2018 under Mr. Beckles watch. Even labourers are still waiting for their pay because of how badly Mr. Beckles and the PNC cabal managed Lethem Town Week 2017/2018.
When the PPP/C won Lethem in the November 2018 elections, we met an empty and bankrupt treasury with liabilities in excess of G$5 million. Over the last 10 months, due to prudent management, the PPP/C led Council by Mayor John Macedo has been able to wipe off some G$3 million of that debt.
The PPP/C council had successfully managed to rectify the wages/salary scale for its employees to their satisfaction as compared to the employee’s underpayment by the previous council.
A question was asked by APNU councillor Beckles regarding the theft of an inverter at the Lethem Declaration Park. While we have called in the Police, the act happened under the APNU/AFC controlled council and thus Mr. Beckles will be in a better position to answer to the police for the theft.
Clearly the allegations in the newspaper are meant to distract, detract, and disturb the smooth functioning of the council and divide the township.
Editor, the work of the PPP/C controlled council will not be hampered by these false allegations, baseless insinuations, and acts of intimidation. We have a job to do and we remain accountable to the people of Lethem. We will not allow political pallbearers like Mr. Beckles to interfere with the progress being made by a democratically-run and accountable council.
The Lethem Town Council will continue to serve all of its constituents.
John Macedo – Mayor
Debra King – Deputy Mayor
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