CANDIDATES of Constituency 14, considered the most competitive constituency in Georgetown, squared-off on national television last evening in another round of the Georgetown Local Government Elections (LGE) debate.Hosted by Merundoi Inc, the debate explored issues affecting residents in the constituency, and provided the candidates the opportunity to unveil their plans should they be elected to serve as councillor.
Businessman Saiku Andrews, running under the group Team Legacy, expressed frustration at the way his community has been treated over the years. Describing the South Ruimveldt Park/Ruimveldt Industrial Estate locale as a “forgotten” area, he reasoned that it is in need of physical help and leadership.
Andrews explained that there are infrastructural needs in that area, and these, he said, should be done to last long-term. Among them are roads and community centres.
“There should be no short-term (work). If they need sidewalks or roads, we will sit with Central Government and scrutinise persons who get contracts and ensure that they have a good track record to get these works done efficiently,” he said.
In terms of crime and security, he recommended the establishment of two more police outposts in the area. And this is needed, he said, because of the lack of policing in the constituency and weaknesses in the community policing groups.
Political activist Mark Benschop, who represents Team Benschop for Mayor, took several jabs at his opponents while unveiling his plans to foster development in Constituency 14.
He was keen to state that his team plans to not only make a difference in this constituency, but the entire Georgetown, once elected to office.
The plans outlined by him for Constituency 14 are drainage, security, and lighting of the area. These, he said, can be addressed within a short period of time, should he be elected.
As it relates to solid waste disposal, he revealed that he would introduce more frequent collections in the area. To tackle security issues, he explained that there is need for street lights, police outposts and an active presence of police constabulary in the area.
Independent candidate Juliet Julian also made her contributions, offering that a major issue in her constituency is recreational space, for which she has been in the fight since 2011.
Julian explained that community centres will allow persons the space to enjoy quality time with their friends and families.
“Boys and girls are now into Internet, and one of the causes is the lack of recreational facilities,” she said.
For her, to tackle crime in that constituency, there needs to be collaboration with the Guyana Police Force, and active policing groups in the neighbourhoods.
Businessman Bertrand Stewart, who is also an independent candidate, likewise highlighted the need for a recreational facility, while hinting at one he is currently in the process of establishing.
This facility, he said, is needed for social interaction, which could, in the short and long terms, significantly reduce crime in that area.
“Crime would be solved if we look out for each other, and have more social interactions,” he said. He added: “Most residents don’t have anything to do, and we have to have a place to have to meet,” he said.
Sherod Duncan of the APNU+AFC was absent from the debate.