PNCR General Secretary denies parking meter fees funding his political party

Last Updated on Wednesday, 1 March 2017, 11:35 by Denis Chabrol

PNCR General Secretary, Oscar Clarke.

General Secretary of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Oscar Clarke has rubbished claims by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo that earnings from parking meters are helping to finance that political party.

“The PNC is not benefiting in any way financially or otherwise from this project,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

The PNCR General Secretary is an elected Councillor of Georgetown and the Chairman of the City’s Finance Committee.

Clarke accused Jagdeo of fabricating a baseless accusation at his news conference held earlier this week. “This must be a figment of Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo’s fertile imagination. It has nothing to do with the PNC and the PNCR,” he said.

The Opposition Leader earlier this week charged that the parking meter had little to do with garnering revenues for the city, but more about financing the PNCR for the next 20 years.

There has been public outcry about the parking meter contract and related bylaws on several grounds including lack of transparency, no public tendering, burdensome fees and the wide powers of Smart City Solutions (SCS) in acquiring lands for garaged parking and sale of seized vehicles without legal recourse.

The Movement Against Parking Meters has been holding weekly protests demanding that the contract be scrapped. Similar calls have been made by the Private Sector Commission, Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc, Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Alliance For Change (AFC).

SCS has an 80 percent stake in the US$10 million metered parking system and the Mayor and City Council the remaining 20 percent.

Government’s own review of the contract has identified several areas of major concern.