CDC responsible for St. Anselm to be audited following residents’ complaints

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall will soon request an audit of the Community Development Council (CDC) that holds responsibility for St. Anselm, Region One, after residents’ allegations of financial mismanagement.

This pledge was made during a ministerial engagement with residents, alongside Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal.

“If the community is so concerned and would like an audit to be done, then we can agree today to have an audit of what happened in that period,” Minister Dharamlall told the residents.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall

During a discussion at the St. Anselm Primary School, resident, Mr. William Moonsammy alleged that his community has been plagued by financial improprieties at the hands of the CDC under the previous administration.

“They got money in 2017. [With] a million dollars, they buy three small machines – three chainsaws. When we asked for receipts, they said it is not right for us to see receipts… We had a hard time during that time,” Mr. Moonsammy recounted.

The elderly man stated that he was informed by the then CDC that as long as the chairman and secretary were aware of the transaction, that was sufficient.

Mr. Moonsammy said he further learnt that councillors were not privy to financial transactions undertaken by the body.

The resident said he was voicing his concerns to ensure there was no repeat of such actions. He added that the lack of transparency in financial matters also negatively impacted persons who needed to leave the community in cases of health emergencies.

He said these issues were exacerbated after he made complaints to the then Regional Executive Officer, and was allegedly treated with disdain because of his perceived political persuasion.

Additionally, the Mr. Moonsammy relayed that the CDC that was elected in 2018 was denied a handover until December last, thereby suppressing the wishes of the people.

After listening to these concerns, which were echoed by other residents at the meeting, Minister Dharamlall said he would assist the community in getting answers on the CDC’s use of the public funds.

The residents were advised to fully co-operate during the audit which will be done before a new CDC is elected.

Concerning the CDC elections, Minister Dharamlall pledged his support for the community irrespective of the person they chosen as chairman.

Other matters discussed at the meeting included the effect of the adjacent river on agriculture and educational opportunities for students.

Regarding the latter, Minister Dharamlall urged parents to encourage their children to apply for scholarships that are being provided by the Government.

St. Anselm was among several Region One communities visited by the two ministers over the weekend.