His Worship Pt Ubraj Narine has noted the statements attributed to the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs in the April 11, 2022 edition of the Guyana Times on vendors in the City. The publication indicated that the Honourable Minister stated, “if this state of affairs is not addressed by the City Council the Government will be forced to act including taking over some of these city streets under the Roads Act”.
Mayor Narine expresses his deep concern that these statements can foment already strained relations in the city. Mayor Narine stated that vendors provide a vital economic service to the City and depend on the road for their daily bread and cannot be treated with disrespect.
“The Municipality continues its efforts to provide an avenue for legitimate business to be conducted in the city. Vending is one form that has served the City for decades. Vendors provide economic services to the City and provide income for families. All legitimate vendors pay a fee to the Municipality and commit to clean up before and after business” according to Mayor Narine.
The Mayor stated that several matters continue to languish which can address challenges such as littering in the City. One such matter is the revised littering by-laws which are awaiting consideration by the Minister of Local Government. He indicated that the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs can apply some influence on his colleague Minister and express his concern so that he can address it.
The challenge of outstanding taxes owed by Government agencies continues to plague the Municipality. The Council despite its best attempts is starved of resources by the Government and some state departments.
The Mayor encourages the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs not to cherry-pick issues but to address these challenges in a holistic manner that will benefit all citizens. The Council for its part has expressed the need for an examination of legislation that can improve revenue collection and enforcement through the implementation of a Municipal Court. This can benefit from the support of the Attorney General.
His Worship continues to encourage Central Government to embrace unity and collaboration rather than hostility in the interest of the citizens of Georgetown. The Mayor extends an invitation to the Honourable Minister to engage in meaningful dialogue to provide comprehensive solutions in line with his commitment to work with the central Government to improve the lives of all citizens.