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PSC says M&CC “only paying lip service” to tri-partite committee on parking meter

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Statement by the Private Sector Commission regarding the Parking Meter Project

In August of 2016 when the idea of parking meters being installed in the City by the Mayor and City Council was first introduced, the Private Sector Commission convened a meeting with the Mayor and other representatives of the M&CC.

At this meeting, when it became evident that the Council was not prepared to concede to any of the concerns of the private sector, the idea of a Tri-Partite Committee being formed was first mooted.

This Committee was intended to consist of Representatives of the Private Sector Commission, the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown and the Government of Guyana.

This Committee was formally launched by His Excellency, President Granger, in early September of 2016 and this first gathering included the Ministers of Business and Communities. It was made clear to the participants that the purpose of the Tri-Partite Committee was to promote dialogue between the Private Sector Commission and the Council and to arrive at a mutually agreed position which would ensure that the Council increased its revenue without unduly burdening the citizens and the businesses which plied their trade in the Capital.

It was further agreed that the Tri-Partite Committee would be supported and facilitated by Government through the Minister of Communities. After the first few meetings, it became increasingly clear that the Council was only paying lip-service to the initiative since it soon became inconvenient for them to attend meetings because the Mayor either was abroad or was otherwise indisposed and no Deputy was authorised to represent her.

The Private Sector Commission then wrote to the Mayor, seeking to discuss alternatives to the metering project, and to His Excellency, the President, seeking answers as to the position of the Central Government with respect to the parking meters. The Unions were also appealed to for support.

As the project, which was likely to further impoverish the citizens, steamed ahead with unseemly haste, the Private Sector Commission engaged the services of a media and public relations consultant. This resulted in a series of radio and television advertisements explaining the improper nature of the manner in which the project was introduced and the negative impact that parking meters would have on the populace. These advertisements were also carried in the print media and on social media, reaching a broad contingent of the citizens as well as businesses on whom would befall the hardship that the project would impose.

Meanwhile, no responses were received to the letter to the Mayor of November 25. On January 11, 2017 the Private Sector Commission received a letter from the Minister of Communities in which the Honourable Minister stated that the letter had been written in response to the Commission’s letter of November 24, 2016 to His Excellency the President.

The letter further noted that the information duly enclosed had been provided by the Mayor in response to the Commission’s letter to the President. It then proceeded to relay to the Private Sector Commission three pages of the Mayor’s opinions.

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