An all-female ministerial team visited communities along East Berbice-Corentyne, Region Six on Sunday, to meet and hear concerns of residents.
According to GINA, Minister of Social Protection Amna Ally led the team which comprised Ministers within the Ministries of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, Public Health, Dr Karen Cummings and Education, Nicolette Henry.
The event came after residents’ concerns were raised by Member of Parliament Charandass Persaud to Minister Ally. Minister Ally visited residents in Crabwood Creek, Minister Broomes visited Scottsburg, Minister Karen Cummings was in Little Africa and Minister Nicolette Henry visited Dukestown.
GINA reported that the outreach culminated with the Ministers meeting residents of Liverpool village. The residents’ complaints were primarily about the mismanagement of the community by the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).
One resident, Troy Fraser, told the Ministers, “Since the local government election there is nothing done, not even a public meeting keeping for the community to go out and voice their opinion.”
Clefrin Williams told the Ministers that garbage disposal is a major concern of the community. “I have been reliably informed that there is a tractor and trailer at the village council office there. What about our rubbish? This whole place is full of rubbish,” Williams said.
The residents were very vocal in their dissatisfaction over the leadership of the NDC. “If I had known I was entering into a situation to work under that captain (chairman) I would have never gone there,” Mitchell McBean, Councillor of the Lancaster/Hogstye NDC, which is responsible for the community, complained to the Ministers. Minister Ally assured the residents that their complaints will be investigated.
There were also calls by the residents for the improvement of their community’s centre ground, and resuscitation of the library and roads. Minister Ally in addressing these requests reminded the residents that Liverpool is among many other communities that the government is working to address residents’ concerns, according to GINA.
Meanwhile, the complaints of the NDC performance were similar in Scottsburg where Minister Broomes met with a small group at the village’s community centre ground.
Head of the Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) Taisa Stoll complained to Minister Broomes of inadequate garbage collection by the NDC, forcing the nursery school to pay for garbage disposal.
Lighting and poor roads were also issues raised. Joy Phillips told the Minister that the NDC is telling residents they have to pay for the street lights while one resident, identified as Carl, called for better roads in the community.
Minister Broomes explained to the residents that with the reintroduction of local government elections, residents now have the power to replace representatives in NDCs that are not working in the community’s interest.