City Council to challenge High Court ruling on Parking Meter by-laws
By Bibi Khatoon
Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green is adamant that there is a need for metered parking within the city, as she noted that the council will be moving to challenge the decision to quash the by-laws governing the Parking Meter Project in the New Year.
On Friday, December 15, 2017, the High Court quashed the Georgetown Parking Meter by-laws that were approved by Local Government Minister, Ronald Bulkan, noting that the procedure to bring the bylaws into force was breached. The legality of the By-laws was taken to the court in February 2017 by the New Building Society, just over a month after the implementation of the project.
“I’m gonna challenge it, the Council will challenge that because the law was quite clear on how we go about doing by-laws so that is going to be challenged and we are going to proceed with all of our discussions and recommendations to move forward,” the Mayor told reporters during an interview on Monday evening.
A renegotiating committee has been established to meet with stakeholders, including the company awarded the project, Smart City Solutions (SCS) to iron out issues raised in the public.
According to the Mayor, the committee is in the process of compiling new information on the project and very soon will bring out its recommendations.
Another committee headed by Councillor Malcolm Ferreira had previously compiled and submitted a report on the project in which it detailed that SCS refused to provide financial information requested.
However, the Mayor said the new committee chaired by Councillor Akeem Peter did not have any such issues with the company.
“Information that was asked for was provided by Smart City Solutions this time around and so they were able to move smoothly into whatever renegotiating efforts they are trying to make,” the Mayor said.
Chase-Green continued to emphasise the need for the parking meter system as she pointed to the issues of double parking and traffic jams during the current holiday season in the city.
“You see what is happening right now, even at 8 ‘O’ clock in the night persons are triple parking, the buses can’t stop at the bus stops, it’s horrible, and you need to bring some order and we are looking at this seriously and we will move forward,” she said.
The parking meter project was first implemented in January 2017 but was suspended by the Government three months after, following widespread protests over the lack of transparency and accountability.
The Council is expected to address those issues under a new contract while reducing the initial fee for parking and making the system more acceptable.