The Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) has rejected the recent announcement by the City council to slash parking meter fines by 50%, continuing its call for the complete revocation of the project. As such, it will continue its protest with one planned for Thursday (February 16, 2017) at noon.
President, David Granger during his most recent recording of ‘The Public Interest’ defended the need for the project on the basis of the city’s need for funding. He then alleged that persons leading the protest against the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) and Smart City Solutions (SCS) are those who owe the city large sums of money.
“We have a strange situation where one of the leading protesters, I would even say an instigator, is actually writing to the city council for waiver of taxes which are due. How will the city run? You are saying that there should be no parking meter but on the other hand, you’re writing to the city for waiver of the taxes which are due- hundreds of thousands of dollars and the same person is leading protest” the President said.
On Monday (February 13, 2017), Town Clerk Royston King and City Mayor Patricia Chase-Green said the rates would be reduced to GYD$28 VAT inclusive for 15 minutes or about GYD$100 per hour.
The MAPM noted on its facebook page that “50% reduction in price is another reason why the contract should be revoked”, question the circumstances under which the company can afford a 50% reduction in price.
“Their (SCS) original price was set to really rob the citizens of the country or significant kickbacks may have been a requirement that is now reduced,” the Movement said. It also added that this will see City Hall only receiving $120M as compared to $240M.
The body called for a commission of inquiry into City Hall needed but noted that in the meantime, contract should be revoked.
The council is currently holding consultations with sections of civil society to make amends to its controversial contract. This move was taken after a meeting with the President last week and a decision by cabinet to have the council cease clamping of vehicles and the collection of fines from drivers for failing to use the parking meters.
MAPM has a Town Hall meeting planned for next Saturday, February 18, 2017, on the issue to which the Mayor was invited.