With some fanfare and a ceremony, we launched Heritage Week – laudable and acceptable.
However, we have a major national heritage going to wrack and ruin all because the government refuses to allow the duly elected Mayor and City Council to have any effective control in the management of the city.
Two years ago, the state provided twenty million dollars to begin work on the restoration of City Hall. By letter and pleadings, the Mayor and some councillors urged that we needed a proper plan to guide us in the restoration of one of our most attractive buildings in Guyana – the City Hall. When the Engineer started work, the Mayor pointed out that as one who had witnessed the restoration of heritage buildings elsewhere, the approach was inappropriate. A visit by senior staff of the National Trust confirmed my concerns.
The next thing was that millions were spent to purchase and install unsuitable windows.
Because the Minister maintains control of the Town Clerk and Engineer, my pleadings (in writing) were ignored. Later, the Town Clerk and Engineer ran foul in another venture; they have both been dismissed.
Later, at no cost to the council we secured the services of two experienced engineers. They submitted their recommendations, but we need cash and further assistance to proceed. So far, government has failed to make available monies to continue this necessary project. This is supported by the massive propaganda machinery of the state.
A similar situation exists with respect to the Kitty market – another heritage building – a sad and sorry situation as we celebrate Heritage Week.