Public consultations a must for ‘parking lots’ or ‘parking meters’- Rohee

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2016, 12:50 by Denis Chabrol

People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, Clement Rohee on Tuesday said any paid parking system- lots or meters- must be the subject of public consultations, but he opted to remain mum on whether motorists should pay to park in the city.

“We don’t support any of the two so long as there are no consultations with the people. Any one of the two, they should have consultations,” he said in response to a question by Demerara Waves Online News.

His remarks came one day after President David Granger told Georgetown City Councillors that they should consider the introduction of parking lots to ease congestion in the city. Granger made no mention of parking meters, the subject of a raging controversy about the absence of council-wide consultation and apparent lack of experience by Smart City Solutions/ National Parking Systems.

The PPP General Secretary said once citizens would have to pay to park, there must be “broad and wide consultations, particularly with the citizens of Georgetown.” He said reports from such town-hall style public consultations must be made public.

Rohee said citizens must have a clear understanding about how the payments would be received and accounted for.

Asked whether the PPP would support paid parking if citizens support the initiative at the public consultations, he said “I am not saying that. You are running ahead of me….We don’t know what will come out of the consultations so I would be rather presumptuous.”

In clear reference to critics of new generating revenue measures, President Granger told City Councillors in his address that once such initiatives are transparent and approved by the Council, his administration would support them.

Cabinet has already tasked the Finance Minister, Attorney General and the Minister of Communities to review the contract between the Council and Smart City Solutions/ National Parking Systems to ascertain whether there are any illegalities.

The President further announced on Tuesday that he would like the City Council and the Ministry of Communities to meet to ensure that taxation is not burdensome but sustainable.