Region 5 RDC 2023 Budget: Opposition Councillor fails to make submissions, now quesions non-inclusion
…as Opposition Councillor admits failure to make submissions for 2023 budget
The Opposition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change coalition in the Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) Regional Democratic Council (RDC) and the regional administration were involved in a heated clash over the development to community grounds in the region on Thursday.
The regional administration said that the Opposition failed to make any representation in way of proposals for the region and therefore should not be speaking on such topics.
According to Councillor Delon Crawford, several community grounds in Region Five are in a state of disrepair and there are no proposals in the region’s proposed budget for 2023, to have those addressed.
Crawford made specific mention of the ground in the Seafield/Tempie Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), noting that across the region many community grounds are being neglected.
However, Regional Vice Chairman Rian Pieters told the RDC that many of the Councillors have no right to speak on such issues.
Crawford claimed that over the years, members of the Opposition have been proposing projects for their constituencies and none have made their way into the final budget which forms part of the national budget.
He said it has reached to a point where he has questioned the need to put forward projects which he would like to see undertaken in the region.
“So Mr Chairman, it is a deliberate act on my part not to submit anything and I would say that again because to me it makes no sense. However, upon perusing our 2023 budget proposal, I noticed thirty-three works and in those thirty-three works only three are being done in communities that do not support this Administration,” Crawford said.
However, the Regional Vice Chairman said he could not sit silently and allow Crawford to “shamelessly try to justify the fact that he would have failed to represent his constituency”.
“I want to assure the people that live within that constituency although by admission the honourable member would have stated that he refused to participate in making meaningful representation on their behalf. I want to assure them that they have a Government that cares and they will continue to benefit from developmental works like every other community,” Pieters assured the RDC.
Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal, in responding to the issue, said the Seafield/Tempie NDC has been benefiting equally like all of the other NDCs.
“The Councillor said that for years he has been making proposals and not much has been done. I am sure that he is referring to the period prior to 2020 because over the last two years we have seen tremendous development in this region. Only recently Central Government has approved over 130 roads for Region number Five and Seafield/Tempie is included in that and we will soon see how that area will be transformed also.”
In the Seafield/Tempie NDC area, Ramphal said roads will be upgraded while 21 will be done in the Rosignol Zeelust NDC area, including three at Rosignol.
He made specific mention of that NDC following accusations by Councillor Ismail Muhammed that the village of Rosignol is being neglected.
“The youths are trying their best but they are not getting the support,” he said.
As it relates to community grounds in the region, the Regional Chairman said that it is a work in progress as he pointed to improvement to some grounds.
“Belladrum and so forth… Some of these grounds were neglected for over six to seven years and today we have seen much more development. Persons can now go and have their recreational activities in the night also.”
Ramphal assured that the Region Five administration will continue to support all communities in that region regardless of which political party it is perceived they support while noting that the region has adopted the “One Guyana” notion. (G4)