October 6, 2022

INFO 10

THE TRUTH IN BLACK AND WHITE

Councillors upset that new RDC building was slashed from 2022 budget

By Abiola Archer

The continuation of a new Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Region 10 Administrative building, which started in 2018 under the previous administration, was slashed from the 2022 budget, causing much disappointment to RDC Councillors.  This was relayed during the most recently held statutory meeting where councillors took the opportunity to express their disappointment about the removal of the project from the budget. The building, which is currently at the foundation stage, is located at Speightland, Mackenzie, aimed at providing a modern and extended space for the more than 100 staff members, who are currently cramped in the current Republic Avenue, office. Proposals for the continuation of the project were placed in the 2021 and the 2022 budgets as  capital projects but funds were not approved.

Regional Chairman Deron Adams, said he wrote letters to the Regional Executive Officer,  Dwight John; the Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh and the Minister of Local Government, Nigel Dharamlall; justifying the need for a new building and sought an explanation as to why, despite a commitment was made for it to remain in the budget, after a field visit with Minister Dharamlall, it was taken out.

Adams said the council was even asked to re-design the plan, which was done by the technical team of the RDC, which gave him more hope that the building would have been supported and funds would have been approved.  

Adams posited that the present RDC building has outlived its time and is hazardous. It is cramped in every corner, housing over 100 employees and breaching all the Covid 19 guidelines in all departments. These very staff members he said, requested a new building during consultation. “The budget flows from consultation we had with the people, technical officers and councillors and we made those submissions; why is it that people in Georgetown are now saying take this out, health don’t need this, agriculture don’t need this, it is sad, we are not enjoying the autonomy…..”

Adams added that over 30 roads were added to the budget and only six were approved while 15 drains were submitted and only two were approved. “How do I go back to the communities, but I will go and tell them that we made representation and it was ignored and we will continue to make representations for the people”.