Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and You!

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con­tin­ued and in­creas­ing dam­ages to the lo­cal gov­ern­ment sys­tem are be­ing self- im­posed un­der the cur­rent coali­tion gov­ern­ment. The causal ad­mit­tance in re­cent press state­ments pub­lished in most pop­u­lar me­dia has come from none other than Pres­i­dent Granger, who has crit­i­cized what he views as un-co­op­er­a­tive PPP/C Coun­cilors in some re­gions. At the same time, he states that ‘the coali­tion has to do much bet­ter at the next Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions (LGE).’

This ad­mit­tance of the poor per­for­mances by Mr. Granger while hope­fully as­pir­ing, cer­tainly can­not will or wish ‘wind good­ies’ onto cit­i­zens that would sway opin­ions to fool again within the cur­rent frame­work. The fact of the mat­ter is that aside from the in­creased hard­ships im­posed by the coali­tion since in of­fice, there has been too many prej­u­diced and un­bal­anced treat­ment of the elected Coun­cils of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Ar­eas con­trolled by the PPP/C.

Fur­ther, the Min­is­ter with ad­min­is­tra­tive re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in this area has cer­tainly lost cred­i­bil­ity. He has too of­ten demon­strated un­pre­pared­ness and lack of scru­ples in his con­tin­u­ing U-turn on demo­cratic prin­ci­ples. Note­wor­thy, his de­lib­er­ate un­der­min­ing of cer­tain coun­cils and the de­lib­er­ate de­lays in ad­dress­ing the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion among oth­ers, are not likely to be taken by cit­i­zens as pas­sive as the coali­tion an­tic­i­pates.

Not­with­stand­ing, the sup­pres­sion of our peo­ples in any LGA is grossly un­ac­cept­able. One would an­tic­i­pate that after two years at the helm with nu­mer­ous ad­vi­sors, the use of ba­sic knowl­edge of our LGA’s set­tings would be a key con­sid­er­a­tion in plan­ning for that area. It was re­cently quite shock­ing when it was rec­og­nized that Ron­ald Bulkan, Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ties and the head of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Sys­tem did not know that there are sev­eral NDC’s which are not pay­ing Rates and Taxes.

The rev­e­la­tions were ev­i­denced by mem­bers of the Par­lia­men­tary Nat­u­ral Re- sources Stand­ing Com­mit­tee; to which Bulkan cur­rently func­tion as the Chair­man. As an ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber of the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Congress Re­form (PNCR) from which Pres­i­dent Granger also hail, must have been fur­ther shocked and hu­mil­i­ated when the Leader of the PNC ex­pressed his great­est dis­ap­point­ment that the PPP/C hu­mil­i­ated the APNU/AFC coali­tion at the last LGE.

These pub­lic ban­ters from Pres­i­dent Granger who is Leader of the PNCR, are seem­ingly twisted rep­ri­mands be­cause he also func­tions as the Chair­man of Cab­i­net which has a greater de­ci­sion role. He had ex­pressed se­ri­ous dis­sat­is­fac­tion when ad­dress­ing his Party Lead­ers at the Party Gen­eral Coun­cil meet­ing last week­end, as he begged his lead­ers and urged them to do bet­ter.

It is how­ever time the Pres­i­dent rec­og­nizes that cover-ups and blam­ing the PPP/ C for his Min­is­ter’s in­ad­e­qua­cies can­not suf­fice. This is be­cause from cit­i­zens’ per­spec­tive, the non-de­liv­ery of nec­es­sary ser­vice and wel­fare is in­ex­cus­able and will al­ways in­form re­jec­tion. More so, the recog­ni­tion that the PPP/C com­par­a­tively had of­fered more mean­ing­ful de­liv­ery with­out cre­at­ing such caus­tic en­vi­ron­ment must be prin­ci­ple to his con­sid­er­a­tions.

While David Granger was shed­ding tears and com­plain­ing bit­terly over his coali­tion Gov­ern­ment sad per­for­mance at the last Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions; Leader of the strong and vi­brant Op­po­si­tion the Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of the Peo­ple’s Pro­gres­sive Party Dr. Bhar­rat Jagdeo was de­liv­er­ing a mas­ter speech to thou­sands of peo­ple at a mas­sive pub­lic meet­ing at Leonora on the West Coast of De­mer­ara. The mas­sive crowd at the pub­lic meet­ing was fully be­hind the PPP Gen­eral Sec­re­tary who re­ally mo­ti­vated and in­spired them to con­tinue giv­ing their un-flinch­ing sup­port to the PPP.

Ron­ald Bulkhan no doubt, should do the most hon­or­able thing and ten­der his res­ig­na­tion. This is ab­so­lutely since he does not even know that sev­eral NDC’s are not pay­ing Rates and Taxes! How will his Min­istry mean­ing­fully plan for these ar­eas? With all of his ex­pen­sive hosted ses­sions, how can he not know this? It demon­strates that these so call meet­ings are in­deed far­ci­cal, of no con­se­quence and just not mea­sur­ing up.

To ed­u­cate Min­is­ter Bulkan, we plea the in­dul­gence of our many of read­ers who could in­di­vid­u­ally lec­ture him, that res­i­dents liv­ing in cer­tain Lo­cal Author­ity Ar­eas (LAAs) are not pay­ing any Rates and Taxes or so bound un­der the ex­ist­ing laws. These in­clude: Kwak­wani, Mocha, Cane Grove and Mabaruma.

Fur­ther, it must be noted that Mabaruma is one of the last three Ar­eas that was de­clared as a Town. How­ever, this Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment is most clue­less as to the cri­te­ria and func­tion­ing re­quire­ments of LAAs. All Towns must meet cer­tain stan­dards and sev­eral gen­eral by-laws spec­ify that all Towns must have: a Bank, Fire Sta­tion, Abat­toir, and Dump-site along with many other fa­cil­i­ties.

The APNU/AFC un­der the quack lead­er­ship and ad­vice from Bulkhan and his cronies lost the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment lead­er­ship in Mabaruma and they are fail­ing mis­er­ably to sat­isfy the peo­ple ba­sic needs. The grow­ing suf­fer­ings of our peo­ple are the main cause for peo­ple turn­ing to vi­o­lence and crime. With and all in­clu­sive ad­min­is­tra­tion we could build to­gether a bet­ter Guyana.

The Coun­try Dis­tricts and the non-reg­u­lated-Ar­eas are not pay­ing Rate and Taxes but the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment nor­mally and must bud­get for these Ar­eas ev­ery year. It is im­per­a­tive that the Re­gional Ad­min­is­tra­tion be more pro- ac­tive and in­clude in their pro­gram, what is nec­es­sary to ad­dress bet­ter­ment in these ar­eas.

The Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion is a ne­ces­sity and the Min­is­ter Bulkhan must ap­point same now.

This ar­ti­cle is pre­pared by Neil Ku­mar, Mr. S & Mr. A

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