“Consultation is power”- Min. Bulkan irons out friction between Bartica RDC, M&TC
DPI, GUYANA, Sunday, April 15, 2018
The constant friction between Regional Democratic Councils (RDC’S) and new Mayor and Town Councils (M&TC’s) is just another teething problem that will come into play as the government moves towards heightening local democracy.
This is according to Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan. He said the issue, however, does not take away from the reality that it can be easily ironed out, if officials work together.
The Minister was speaking to councillors of the (Region Seven) Cuyuni-Mazaruni Regional Democratic Council and the Mayor and Town Council, at a joint Local Democratic Organ (LDO) consultation in Bartica on Friday.
According to Minister Bulkan, the situation that exists between the councils is not strange to any of the regions that were given township status back in October 2015. He noted, “This issue is not one that is unique to where we are. It exists in varying degrees in our three newest towns that were created.”
Before the three new towns’ creation, Minister Bulkan said it was the RDC that had sole authority and jurisdiction over all the communities. He said it is not surprising if a new framework comes on stream, that some friction would come into play; especially since there would be competing sources of authority and one that leads to the relinquishing of that authority.
“It is something new that is being created, something new that is being brought into being,” he noted.
Minister Bulkan compared the situation that exists to that of giving birth. He said it could be a “painful and messy” situation but is all part of the growth process.
He described the day’s consultation between the two entities as the first step towards addressing the problem, “Bringing it out into the open is important. It requires that we bring an open mind to the discourse. Refusing to accept it we are handicapping ourselves.”
Among the concerns, raised by councillors, was the need for an effective working relationship between the two councils, improved communication especially in the area of developmental works, and the inclusion of parties in each other’s meetings.
Both Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford and Mayor Gifford Marshall admitted that there were teething problems but noted that a strong relationship exists the two. He said the recommendations made at the consultation will be taken and put into practice.
By: Alexis Rodney