An accountable City Hall stands to gain massive support from central gov’t – Jagdeo
PPP General Secretary, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo
PPP General Secretary, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo

CONTRARY to assertions that central government is not supportive of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC), General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, during a live interview on Wednesday, clarified that government is eager to financially assist City Hall if the new council is more accountable and transparent.

As discussion on the upcoming June 12 Local Government Elections (LGE) continued, Dr. Jagdeo appeared on a special broadcast interview hosted by Wendel Jeffrey on Channel 2. During the interview, Dr. Jagdeo laid out his party’s case for why it would do a better job of running the 30 seat Council that oversees the management of Georgetown.
Above all else, Dr. Jagdeo stressed that better accountability is the first thing citizens can look forward to under a transformed City Council.

Plans of seeing statutory meetings being live streamed similar to sittings of Parliament, annually audited statements and the creation of electronic platform to track payments and financial records of City Hall are some plans on the cards under a PPP/C-led City Council.

“We said we will support the city council,” Dr. Jagdeo established
“We in our manifesto said that: one, city council meetings will be streamed; two, we will ensure that every interaction with City Hall… to control corruption and make it user-friendly, will be in an electronic platform. You can go check your records there, pay your taxes; do everything else.”

As it pertains to having money directly handed over to the Council from central government, Dr. Jagdeo pointed out that the council already struggles with accounting for the money it already receives, while its reputation of mismanaging or redirecting funds provisioned for particular projects is well known.

Dr. Jagdeo questioned why City Hall has been running away from proper record keeping and annual audits.
“We pay the taxes to the city now and we give them some subvention every year. But if you give them any money often they find an alternate use for the money. If we have a council there that’s sympathetic; one that if you give them money to do drainage they ensure that they do drainage. And not only that they do the drainage but that they utilize people in the area to do it and then they account for it at the end of the year. The city council must have audited accounts. We managed from 1952 to restore audited accounts to the country; why they can’t do that at City hall?”

For over 27 years now, the City Council has been dominated by the People’s National Congress (PNC).
However, notwithstanding the PNC’s dominance, the PPP has been incrementally making significant inroads in Georgetown, as well as a number of other traditional PNC strongholds. In the 2016 LGE, the PPP/C won two out of 30 seats, while in the subsequent 2018 LGEs, they won seven seats.

As this year’s LGE rolls around, the PPP has been doing much to appeal to the city’s citizenship for a chance to prove that it can do a much better job than what the PNC has been delivering during their years at the helm.
According to Dr. Jagdeo, in previous years, the PNC has used race rhetoric and rumors to turn their supporters away from listening to anything the PPP has had to say, but as persons see the development they are looking beyond rumors, and are even surprised to learn just how much development plans the PPP has in place.

“A number of questions came up and I’ve explained my position to persons. So they said why you didn’t tell us this before 2015 and I said we were saying it but you probably were not listening. And one [person] who was a PNC activist even said to me you know it’s true every time I see you on television I’ll switch the channel. We were characterised as racist. I’m known as Satan on the PNC platform. So these rumors through whisper campaigns people start seeing you in a particular way so no matter what you say they don’t believe you. They don’t even want to listen to you,” Dr. Jagdeo said.

However, as citizens become wary of the PNC’s lack of proper management of the city, and failure to deliver on their promises, the tides are turning; people have begun to listen to the PPP’s message, Dr. Jagdeo said.


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