Linden Mayor raps Central Govt over arbitrary decisions
…calls on Ministries to respect localities
Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland has expressed grave concern over ongoing construction of several building projects within his community, which he noted was being undertaken through Central Government and various Ministries without any consultation with the Linden Mayor and Town Council.
Referring to the construction of a building within the compound of the Charles Roza School of Nursing and several others, Holland said these projects were being executed with total disregard for the municipality and municipal laws.
He noted that before such projects were executed, an application was supposed to be made to the Council so that the projects can be approved and overseen by its Buildings Department. He noted, however, that this was not the case with these buildings, and several such buildings, of which the municipality has no record. Holland said the law applied even to Ministries and it was the Buildings Department which would give the initial green light.
“A lot of times, there are contracts given out from Central [Government] and at the regional level and we are not aware of it. All we would see is that roads are blocked, people are working, etcetera, and the Council is not informed,” the Mayor said.
He noted that while the Council was not against any form of development within the township, the rule of law must be maintained.
“Not because it is from a ministry, you show total disregard. We’re incensed because our buildings inspector and the Council would have written a letter as it relates to the building going up at the Nursing School and the Council would have enquired about this structure; however, they had a runaround for several months; meanwhile, this building continues to go up…Eventually they’re told, it’s not being done through Linden, it’s being done through Central Government,” he said.
Holland further stated that the concern was that the municipality would be unaware of anything in relation to these buildings or if they confirmed to the specified building standards. He said the Buildings Department would have recommended that a cease letter to be sent; however it was met with total disregard.
“The contractors on the ground are very vocal and dismissive with these orders from the municipality, because they say it’s (buildings are) either from the Region or Central Government. Who is really in charge of the township? What are we elected to do? Are we elected to just sit back and watch anything happen and no one answering?” he asked, while stating his belief that cohesion starts with simple things such as these.
“I am wondering if the rule of law has changed, whereby projects can just be handed down into a town…if something goes wrong, it’s the people who running the Mayor and Town Council that would be blamed…this is wrong and it has to stop. If we’re going to strengthen local governance, we need to start with respecting local governance. We have to put back power in the hands of the people who represent,” Holland said.
He went on to state that in many cases, constituency representatives were not informed of developments in their constituencies as he made the call for local organs to be respected and for answers to be provided in relation to these buildings.
“I would like to call on all the Ministries to start respecting the localities and local leaders,” Holland maintained.