By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Town of Anna Regina has been dubbed as the ‘best performed’ municipality for 2013 by Junior Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker.
Whittaker, who made the announcement before the close of 2013 said Anna Regina is the only municipality of the six which completed 100% of its work programme using government’s subvention.
Government had set aside a total of $65M in the National 2013 Budget as subventions for the six municipalities. Anna Regina received $9M from the $65M and used it on seven projects ranging from improved drainage to developing infrastructure.
Georgetown on the other hand continues to perform badly, according to the Minister. The town received $11M and did not utilize it fully, but according to Whittaker, the municipality showed some amount of improvements, completing just over 50% of the work the money was intended for. The money was supposedly intended to buy two trucks for the city, of which only one was purchased.
City Mayor Hamilton Green on Friday last said the subvention given by the Administration is a ‘drop in the ocean’. He maintains that the council is starved of much needed resources (manpower, money and management). According to Green, the council is simply not equipped to deal with the level of indiscipline and indiscriminate dumping that exist.
The Minister prior to the Mayor’s statements, made it clear that the Government’s assistance to Georgetown and the other municipalities is not limited to the subvention and cited other levels of support.
He pointed out that an additional $9.4M was given to Linden to assistance in paying employees under the revised minimum wage order.
He said in other towns, specifically Georgetown the Government has helped in several ways, ranging from maintaining pumps, to solid waste management and developing market infrastructure.
Whittaker told reporters at a recent press conference that it is not the Administration’s intent to take over the responsibility of these municipalities, while making special reference to Georgetown, but noted that the Government does feel obliged to intervene on the part of the people.