2016 was a consequential year for Constituency 14: South Ruimveldt/Industrial Estate. Please permit me to highlight nine important things we have done in the last nine months, and then give a synopsis of where we are heading in 2017 under the stewardship of yours truly and Noelle Chow-Chee as the Constituency Councillors.
Constituency 14 runs from the back of South Ruimveldt (Canal Place) and goes all the way to the Demerara River passing Industrial Site. It is everything south of Aubrey Barker Road and Mandela Avenue bordered by Caneview Avenue and Meadow Bank, hence it’s a huge piece of real estate to bring services to, compounded by budget deficits at City Hall. In 2017 we are starting with a $807M shortfall.
That being said, we are extremely thankful, as Councillors with the partnership of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) and others as we were able to (1) repair the road between “Last Entrance” Christiani Street and Rosa Drive; David Rose Street and a section of Aubrey Barker close to Critchlow Avenue toward Trench Road, inclusive of repairs to a culvert in Trench Road, Roxanne Burnham Gardens; (2) through the SRG Phase 1 Community & Policing Group we have restored most of the signage in South Ruimveldt Park/Gardens; (3) installed a number of bus sheds; (4) rehabilitated the playing fields in Orealla Avenue and Tukeit Drive.
Other areas are earmarked, currently we’re working with Rotaract of Stabroek on a plan to restore a playing field in Shirley Field Ridley Square; (5) we mapped the drains in South Ruimveldt with the Dutch Risk Reduction Team aimed at mitigating the flooding issues shortly; (6) we launched recently the Citizen Security Strengthening Programme in South, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Security aimed at reducing crime and violence among our youth through skills training etc; (7) we have been cleaning a number of drains, with some contracts going to neighbourhood leaders, through MPI and M&CC; (8) we have held two public meetings in the Constituency aimed at getting from residents the heart of the issues which influenced M&CC Budget for 2017. The last such meeting was held at South Ruimveldt Park Primary School; (9) also we have added two new policing groups to the Constituency.
These and other activities are part of the progress in the Constituency over the last nine months.
One of the important things which came out of community meeting last September hosted by M&CC Public Relations Department is documentation of the felt-needs of which, “55% mentioned related to the work of the City Engineer’s Office, and 36% of the matters raised related to the work of the Public Health Department, and 9% related to the City Constabulary.”
For 2017, based on our estimated expenditure of $3.8 billion, $1.7 billion is expected to be spent on core services from which Constituency 14 will benefit. We are aiming at improved solid waste management; at a 90% maintenance of the collection schedule. We will continue the work with our drains regarding maintenance, rehabilitating and desilting etc. In the area of Public Health we look to improved management of our vector control programme to reduce the spread of disease and sickness from breeding mosquito and other pests.
I envisage 2017 as a year of partnerships as the M&CC cannot do this work alone. We could not do this noble work without the help of our Constituency Manager Brenda William and our other selfless volunteers, especially Tricia Cox and Julie Grimes.
We look forward to the continued support of residents and businesses in the Constituency, encouraging them to pay their Rates & Taxes.
I take this opportunity also, to wish the Mayor and City Councillors all the best in the New Year as together we make Georgetown a better place in 2017.
Sherod Avery Duncan,
former Deputy Mayor,