Latest update March 27th, 2023 12:59 AM
Jan 30, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – After accusing the Government of ignoring the budgetary needs of Region Ten, and blanking projects proposed by its Council, Regional Chairman, Deron Adams said the Government has again failed in its duty to meet with the elected representatives of the people or engage them in a way that would bring relief to the issues they are facing. The Chairman in a Facebook statement Sunday said that President Irfaan Ali made his way to the mining town less than 48 hours after regional leaders held a press conference to address some inadequacies facing the region.
He said that it was commendable that less than 48 hours after the elected leadership in Linden held a press conference to highlight the state of the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) Ground and the need for input in the agriculture sector, “the President responded by flying to Linden to commit that the MSC Ground would be completed expeditiously and the calls of the residents put forward by their elected representatives would be addressed”.
“A better position though would have been to engage the leaders elected by the people or have the various Ministers engage them, so that for example, the Minister of Youth Culture and Sports could be informed that Linden is a football (soccer) town, different in focus to other areas in Guyana where cricket may be the focus,” the Chairman said. He added that while the development work at the MSC Ground is welcomed, it is preferred that “rather than fixing it to “ICC standards” as the President was quoted in the media as saying, we would prefer FIFA standards to be the guide, even as we encourage the upgrading of the ground near to the Mackenzie High School to ICC standards to encourage those in the Region who play cricket.” “We also encourage the President to engage us on our proposal to develop a sporting facility in Amelia’s Ward, where we have already advanced a particular location for this development,” the Chair informed.
On another note, the Chair said the Council is concerned about what is taking place in the public service. “We are also really regretful that the President again displayed a lack of concern for his colleagues in the public service, who are engaged like he is to provide development for and on behalf of the people of Guyana, but who unlike him are not fortunate to fly around in a helicopter, but have to endure the unsafe, hazardous and filthy conditions of their current work environment at the Regional Democratic Council building.” “A visit to assure them that this situation was being looked at and the return of the project to continue building the new facility for them to work in would have ensured that this visit was not seen as just a token publicity jaunt,” the Chairman submitted.
Adams said earlier this week in a public statement that the Guyana Government continues to ignore projects budgeted for by Region Ten’s Regional Democratic Council (RDC) and submitted for allocations in the National Budget.
He said that while members of the Council take lots of time and effort to meet with residents via community consultations to have their input, the Government “continues to pursue a policy of not only refusing to fund projects proposed by the Council, but to ignore input from local governance perspective.” He said in a statement that this has been the situation since 2020. The Regional Chairman had alluded to projects proposed under its agriculture programme to secure funding for farmers in several outlying communities in Region 10 as the Council saw first-hand the challenges the farmers face, particularly as it relates to the marketing of their crops.
Another major project that was submitted for funding but was removed is the continuation of the new Regional Democratic Council Headquarters at Speightland, Mackenzie. The current building, which is decades old he said, is located on Republic Avenue, and was listed as a fire hazard by the Guyana Fire Service as it is currently overcrowded and is structurally faulty.
The Chair had said too that the ground floor floods every day as a result of plumbing deficiencies and on several occasions, operations have to be brought to a halt and staff sent home as a result of sewerage backing up and overflowing into office spaces. He said that the Administration building at Kwakwani is in a similar state of disrepair and begs the question why would any administration that cares for the persons in its direct employ, refuse to allocate resources to make their work environment safe and comfortable.
The Chair had said too that while the budget for his office operations was increased to $47M, the actual sum to facilitate operations has been reduced by $700,000 since stipend for Toshaos and Councillors has been increased. He claimed that this reduced sum will affect the office’s community consultation programmes amongst others. “When cost of living increases are factored in, you can see that the RDC is being forced to do less work in Region 10 due to a net reduction in its funding. Fuel, spares and maintenance costs to facilitate our interaction with residents across the 6,555 square miles of this region, from the Berbice River to the upper reaches of the Demerara and the Essequibo River communities as well.” The Council called on the Government to ensure the elected arm of the RDC is not sidelined and the wishes of the constituents are respected.
They are being paid while we are being played…your pain is their gain!
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