Put the people’s interest first – Region 5 VC

first_imgRegion Five (Mahaica-Berbice) Vice Chairman Rion Peters is calling on region’s Councillors to put aside their differences and work towards improving the region.He made the comments as Councillors for the first time this year were able to sit and discuss issues affecting the region. The meeting was a continuation of a previous one which had to be adjourned last week after the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Councillors kept obstructing the proceedings in defiance of the Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal.However, this most recent meeting was a one-sided affair since all the APNU/AFC Councillors were absent.Region Five Chairman Vickchand RamphalPeters speaking at the meeting noted that if there is to be development in the region, then there must be cooperation from both sides of the house. He said if each community has better representation at the regional level, it will be beneficial for all.“Mr Chairman, I would also like to sound my disappointment with the absence of the honourable members that were elected to represent the people of this region under the APNU/AFC. It is time that this Council moves forward. It is time that this Council put the interest of the people before all political and selfish desires. We were elected to meaningfully and adequately represent the people of this region and it is time that we fulfil that mandate,” Peters said.During the meeting, several issues were discussed, chief among them being widespread flooding in the region. Several low-lying communities in Region Five are currently under water as a result of the May/June rains. This has been compounded by clogged drains, trenches and canals. The Regional Democratic Councils (RDC’s) took a decision to have drains and canals in residential areas cleared urgently to allow the free flow of water out of canals. There are also several outfall canals in the region which need to be desilted.The Regional Chairman said the administration has been making representation at all levels. He added that the relevant agencies have all been informed in advance, as the Council seeks their intervention.Meanwhile, also absent at the meeting was Regional Executive Officer (REO) Roderick Edinboro, who is also the clerk of the RDC.Ramphal said the REO by way of a letter was told that the Council took a decision to have the statuary meeting on June 23. “However, he refused to make himself available and to make the necessary arrangements along with his officers to this meeting here this morning and further I will like to make it public that he is taking advice from politicians; he is being highly political because in my presence he would have called one of the APNU/AFC Councillors seeking advice on whether he should allow the meeting this morning or not. The only way that a meeting can be summoned is by the Regional Chairman making a request which the REO needs to fulfil. Because of his actions, the people of this region will continue to be affected,” the Chairman said.For the first half of the year, the RDC had not been able to sit because of disruptions to it monthly statutory meetings by APNUAFC regional Councillors. Last week, the coalition Councillors led by Carol Joseph prevented the Chairman from presiding over the meeting, forcing the adjournment.Joseph had accused the Regional Chairman of being disrespectful to the President and as a result, would not allow him to preside over the meeting. Despite calls by the Chairman for Joseph to stand if she had something to say, the Councillor disregarded the utterances of the Chairman and continued to speak.At the RDC’s statutory monthly meeting in January, Joseph led Councillors to stop the meeting moments after it started, demanding that the Chairman apologise to President David Granger for not attending a function which Ramphal said he was not invited to. Joseph has ever since prevented the holding of the RDC statuary meetings.Ramphal told reporters that he did not attend the function because he was not invited to it. He said the meeting was suspended because of the way the APNU/AFC Councillors behaved – not allowing members from the other side of the house to speak and not acknowledging what he was saying. (Andrew Carmichael)last_img read more