May 11, 2021 News
– says monies going to consolidated fund can be used to work better for the city
Kaieteur News – City Mayor, Ubraj Narine, has renewed the call for the establishment of a Municipal Court.A municipal court is a court which has jurisdiction that is limited to a specific municipality. These courts preside only over cases and offences that take place within respective jurisdictions. Moreover, they provide a forum for the fair and impartial resolution of alleged violations as established by the town ordinance code.
Mayor Narine, in a recently released missive on issues hampering the work of the City Council, noted that the Municipal Court is essential to help deal with the large number of cases, emanating from the Constabulary, Engineering, Health and Environmental Departments, that the Council manages on a daily basis.
The Mayor noted that repeated calls for municipal courts have been made by the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) so that delinquent taxpayers and other violations can be dealt with expeditiously.
He noted too that the lack of the special court places the municipality at great disadvantage “given these cases that emerge from the municipalities and the already over-burdened court system.”
At present, the Mayor noted all fines and even environmental taxes go to the Central Government by way of the Consolidated Fund, when it is needed for the Council to improve its services.
Narine stressed, therefore that, “it is necessary for us to make further amendments that will guarantee its effectiveness and responsiveness towards municipal needs.”
In this regard, he noted that fines too are usually inadequate and reflect weakness in the laws. He, as a result, is calling for collaborative efforts to pursue the Attorney General Chambers for consultation and legislative reform, which can address these outdated fines.
The Georgetown City Council has been leading the charge in its call for the establishment of Municipal Courts in the various towns across the country.
The Council had previously reached out and held several engagements with other councils across the country as well as the administration in a quest to set up municipal courts as a mechanism to address defaulters who show disregard for the authority of municipal Councils and non-adherence to their regulations.
The local government bodies had agreed that unless there is an effective and functioning mechanism, the councils would not be able to meaningfully address and arrest activities, which do not help the functioning of the councils.
During the meetings, representatives of the Council had noted in all their engagements with all towns, that there is need for a dedicated court to be able to address infractions and violations at the local government level.
The group said too that various councils have been complaining not only of their inability to rake in outstanding monies owed by delinquent taxpayers but issues such as illegal roadside vending and illegal building construction have also been affecting their revenue bases and impeding their effective functioning.
To this end, the councils agreed that Municipal Courts would help in bringing resolution in an expeditious and efficient manner to the issues.
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