Dear Editor,I refer to the article in sections of the media on Saturday, May 12, 2018, entitled, “[People’s Progressive Party/Civic] PPP/C ‘gifted’ $M tug and barge to Kwakwani supporter”. “We recovered the barge and leased it to the [Neighbourhood Democratic Council] NDC” – Patterson. That article was adorned with pictures of the Minister and the Alliance For Change Member of Parliament Audwin Rutherford.Editor, that article was a gross distortion. There was no ‘gifting’: the tug which at the time was partially sunk and virtually scrapped, was sold and bought via an open, advertised invitation of bids and subsequently rehabilitated sufficiently by its new owner, a river-crossing operator; the barge was leased as both the Minister and the MP concede after alleging that it was ‘gifted’. That barge-crossing operator (Mr Edwards) was not known at that time, nor even today to be a supporter of the PPP/C although I acknowledge that we of the PPP/C work with the hope of fairly earning the earnest approval of every Guyanese in the quiet of their hearts, and their precious votes in the privacy of the polling booth.Editor, if the article is read dispassionately, it would become clear how the Minister and the MP are playing with the emotions of the reader, going one way then another, and attempting to smear the PPP/C each way.The Minister said when he contacted National Industrial & Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) initially, he could get no information, and we know what is insinuated (lots of corruption and hiding all that gifting to a claimed supporter) but when he readily contacted the much-maligned Winston Brassington, he directed him to where he found a full disclosure. Rather than leaving damning insinuations and innuendos hanging, the Minister and MP should be heaping praise on Brassington and the PPP/C for a job transparently, honestly and well done and documented! And, also, they should be complimenting Edwards who took the risk, ventured forth and established a service to satisfy the needs of the community.Editor, in the circumstances that prevailed, the praise should be extended even more widely.The Minister and the MP are old enough to know the state to which the bauxite companies and communities would have deteriorated by 1992, after years of huge difficulties and losses, and the reasoning and insistence of the supporting multilateral financial agencies that special subsidies from our national Treasury should be brought to an end. Services provided countrywide by the Government should be handed to and handled directly by the Government. It was in such circumstances that the river-crossing service (and others) provided earlier by the bauxite company and which had ground to a virtual halt, was to be reoffered.You can imagine therefore how heartened I was when two persons, from the area (Edwards and Vandenburg), began barge crossing services, both of them at Kwakwani and Vandenburg additionally at Aroiama. They were worthy of commendation for their initial wooden barges each coupled with a small boat with outboard engine. In much the same vein allow me to mention the encouragement and facilitation we provided to Mendonca, of Kwakwani (not a known supporter of the PPP/C though I tried so greatly to win him over) to set up the gas station in Kwakwani and our search to encourage some other in Aroiama or Hururu to offer a gas station at that location, also.It is true, much to my consternation that the leased big steel barge was taken away from Edwards, unceremoniously, without notice and without cause. The Minister seems to be boasting about and finding glory in how “he had to pull out all stops to get the barge back”. And this from a member of a Government which is carried on the backs of many Afro-Guyanese who are easily agitated about the evident low number of black-owned businesses and made to blame the PPP and the PPP/C.Please allow me to set the record straight with respect to ‘other barges’ and tugs. At the time of the merger of Bermine into AMC/ABC, most of the Bermine owned barging fleet which had suffered the prevailing level of deterioration, and many of which were tied-up or sunk at various points along the river were offered by way of openly advertised tender on an as-is, where-is basis. No offers were made for a number of sunken barges and in time they were made available on a self-help, recovery basis. Some may still be available for whomsoever so wishes.Yours truly,Samuel A A HindsFormer Prime Minister and former President
The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) would be embarking on a re-evaluation exercise in and around Georgetown in a measure designed to aid in its struggle to find finance.According to Town Clerk Royston King, the project is one of the many initiatives being undertaken by the Council with support from central Government.He said the M&CC recently wrapped up a series of meetings with Canadian company Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, which is tasked with undertaking the re-evaluation exercise. The project is expected to commence in the coming months.The last time property was evaluated was in 1996, and according to the Valuation Act, property must be valuated every five years. For a long time, City Hall has been crying foul when it comes to property valuation, since it is contending that some businesses are paying below value for their property.King previously explained that a number of residential properties have been converted for commercial use, but those owners are still paying residential rates. This, King says, starves the City Treasury of much needed finances.Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan announced in January that the Finance Ministry is providing technical assistance and expertise to effect a mass valuation of properties. The valuation exercise would require at least between 12 and 18 months, and Government is seeking to engage a Canadian institution, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), which does property evaluations for the state of Ontario and other jurisdictions in Canada and internationally.City Hall quite often finds itself in a difficult situation as it relates to the management of its financial resources. The municipality has been unable to pay workers their wages and salaries, resulting in mass protests. It deducted NIS, PAYE and Credit Union dues from the workers but did not pay those monies to the relevant agencies. When these shortfalls occur, the Council would then run to the Central Government for a bailout. Just at the end of 2017, the Communities Ministry had to grant City Hall a bailout of over $600 million after its garbage contractors had withdrawn their services.Despite their financial situation, City Hall recently launched its $19 million celebrations for Georgetown’s 175th anniversary. However, King informed that ‘friends of the city’ would be putting up the funds. This has drawn some criticisms from some councillors since they are of the view that the monies expended could be geared towards restoring the building as well as offset other expenses. City Hall’s financial woes
Seamus Coleman and James McClean enjoy a chat at Seamus’ wedding yesterday. ALL PICS BY JOE BOLAND OF NORTHWEST NEWSPIX.The one and only Noel Cunningham at yesterday’s wedding. Noel is the uncle of the bride Rachel Cunningham.James McCarthy who was part of the wedding party.Aidan McGeady at the wedding of team-mate Seamus Coleman.New bride Rachel Cunningham looking stunning after the wedding ceremony.SOCCER STAR SEAMUS TIES THE KNOT WITH RACHEL – PICTURE SPECIAL ! was last modified: June 20th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalKillybegsRachel Cunninghamseamus coleman
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