GAM allocated $10M towards strengthening of municipalities

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Guyana Association of Municipalities (GAM) which was reactivated on May 20, 2017, after several years of being dormant was given a subvention of $10M by the Central government.

The President of the Association Carwyn Holland (Mayor of Linden) in a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI) explained that the body has been on a mission to ensure that the “Institutional Strengthening,” of the local government arm is on track.

Carwyn Holland and Gifford Marshall at the launch of the Municipal Conference in May.

According to Holland, some of the money has been utilised to host a two-day municipal conference, at which mayors and municipal bodies gathered to discuss several issues including leadership by example, legal reforms relating to by-laws, boosting revenue generation, inadequate subventions, municipal courts and periodic inter-agency engagement. Holland said they are currently looking to visit different municipalities to help strengthen their capacities, conduct training, and review and resolve issues affecting them.

The body plans to visit new up-and-coming towns such as Mahadia; to assist in their development. “I believe it’s our duty to set new townships on the right footing and don’t depend on the Ministry to get that going,” The president of GAM highlighted.

The association also intends to procure a bus for members to travel on weekends or once or twice a month to the various municipalities.

GAM, initially established on March 22, 2005, is guided by eight key objectives; the main aim is to unite the municipalities of Guyana with their respective councils. This is to be achieved through a body dedicated to the sustenance and development of respective municipalities. Holland explained that the body remains committed to building institutional knowledge and comradery among the municipalities.

Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan earlier this year vowed to collaborate with GAM in pursuit of President David Granger’s vision of strengthening all three levels of administration (National, Regional and Local) to aid in National Development.

The role of GAM and local government as a whole is seen an important plank in the national development matrix, with the potential to unlock resources and create economic opportunities at the local level.

GAM comprise President Carwyn Holland, Vice President, Gifford Marshall (Mayor of Bartica), Treasurer, Patricia Chase-Green (Mayor Georgetown), Secretary, Kirt Wynter (Mayor of New Amsterdam), and Assistant Secretary/ Treasurer Kirk Fraser (councillor).

Committee Members are Carlton Beckles (Mayor of Lethem) alternate Maxine Welch (Deputy of Lethem), Vijay Ramoo (Rose Hall), Nageshwri Lochanprashad (Deputy Mayor of Bartica), Darul Khan (representative of Anna Regina) Carolyn Caesar (representative of Georgetown), and Wanika Arrindel (Deputy Mayor of Linden).

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