Decision to approve parking meter bylaws well within City Hall’s remit – Min. Harmon

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, April 5, 2018

The decision to approve the amended City Parking Meter bylaws is well within Georgetown Mayor and City Council’s (M&CC’s) remit, and therefore unless an approach is made to central Government, “we would prefer the Council to do its work, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said.

Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon

Minister Harmon was responding to questions regarding City Hall’s decision to approve the document although the case is before the court, and whether it will be allowed to enter into the implementation phase.

At his weekly post-Cabinet press briefing, on Thursday, Minister Harmon explained that the government has not made a statement with respect to paid parking, rather, it felt that there was a need to restore order in the city, and the M&CC in its deliberation and judgment recognised that ‘this is the way to go.’

Minister Harmon stressed that “the city council is an independent body, and the government intervenes in cases where the city requested an intervention, or in cases where actions are taken which affects, in a serious way the safety and security of the citizens…It is the people who elected them and they must give them the opportunity to govern.”

On the question as to whether that matter is before the court, Minister Harmon said: “I suppose that will be dealt with by the attorneys of the persons who brought the matter before the court.”

On Wednesday, April 04, City Hall approved the Parking Meter bylaws by a majority vote when the Georgetown Mayor and City Council held a special meeting to discuss the amendments. The bylaws are to be posted at several locations across the city for 14 days before they are sent to Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan for approval and publications in the Official Gazette.

Among other things, the amendments will now see persons paying $150 per hour and $800 for eight hours of parking in the city.

The parking meter project being executed by the Georgetown M&CC through Smart City Solutions was among several new initiatives introduced by the council to raise revenue to better manage the affairs of the city. The exorbitant fees and lack of transparency in the drawing up of the contract between Smart City Solutions and the Council, however, had led to calls by members of civil society for the revocation of the project.

The contract had since been suspended by the government. Subsequently, the M&CC engaged residents and took steps to review and amend the bylaws governing the contract.

 

By: Synieka Thorne

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