Councillors from the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Tuesday walked out from the statutory meeting of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) due to the absence of the Regional Executive Officer (REO) Rupert Hopkinson.
The walk out came immediately after a reoccurring matter from the meeting was still unresolved.
During the discussion, the issue of trench cleaners still being owed for cleaning road shoulders at Charity came up, with coalition Councillor Julian Cummings expressing his disappointment since those workers did not receive their payments since 2016. Another APNU Councillor, Naithram, also spoke out stating he is dissatisfied that to date those workers payments were not processed and their family’s livelihood are affected.
Naithram also said several other matters raised at previous RDCs continue to linger due to the REO’s absence.
The Deputy Regional Executive Officer, Roop Kumar, who acted as Clerk of the RDC in Hopkinson’s absence said he had no knowledge pertaining to the payments of monies owed to those workers.
On that note, Region Two Chairman Devanand Ramdatt said he is dissatisfied with the REO’s approach to the region since many issues raised at the RDC level are still unresolved.
Ramdatt, who is the head of the RDC, said he cannot understand why the REO is consistently absent from the meetings, with no excuse/explanation being given.
“This is total disrespect to the Region Two RDC, the REO who is the Clerk of the RDC should be present here at all times, many of the RDC meetings he has been absent with no excuse… as a result, there are no meaningful follow-ups to key development issues within the region,” Ramdatt said.
Ramdatt said it is time for the RDC to take a firm stand on the lethargic leadership, and as such, all Councillors from the PPP walked out from the meeting. Other Councillors also left immediately after.
Some of the major issues that were not addressed to date are delayed payments for contractors, slow implementation of the Capital and Current Budget for 2017, non-payment of expenses for the Amerindian Heritage celebrations, lack of payment for RDC Councillor Lloyd Perriera, poor conditions of dams leading to cultivation areas, lack of a fogging machine, and the poor conditions of community grounds, among other concerns. (Indrawattie Natram)