New city metered parking renegotiating team to meet with SCS directors

The new Georgetown metered parking negotiating committee, headed by APNU city councillor Akeem Peter, is expected to meet with concessionaire Smart City Solutions (SCS) in two weeks.

Stabroek News was reliably informed that the committee has requested a meeting with the directors of SCS, which has agreed to meet.

At present, the directors are said to be out of the country.

During the planned meeting, the committee will be requesting that the relevant financial and legal documents be provided as it seeks to move ahead with negotiations on the controversial metered parking contract.

This newspaper was told that since the establishment of the new committee, members met on several occasions and went through the contract along with other documents.

The current negotiating committee comprises seven councillors, six of whom are from APNU and one from Team Benschop for Mayor. Other members of the committee are APNU councillors Noelle Chow Chee, who is the vice-chairperson, Oscar Clarke, Ivelaw Henry, Heston Bostwick, James Samuels, and Jameel Rasul from Team Benschop for Mayor.

The new committee will function under the Terms of Reference used by the previous committee, which had been chaired by Councillor Malcolm Ferreira from Team Legacy.

At a statutory meeting in September, it was decided that the nine-member committee would comprise of seven councillors, and two members of the public who will have voting rights. Town Clerk Royston King and City Treasurer Ron McCalman will also sit on the committee, but only in an advisory capacity.

The first committee had been put together after the metered parking project had been suspended by central government in March. That body was specifically tasked with addressing five areas of concern identified by central government, including the unequal terms of the contract, which disproportionately favoured SCS; the parking fees, which were deemed too burdensome; the very high penalties for non-compliance; and the inclusion of gazetted public roads and certain areas around schools and hospitals.

After three months of stakeholder engagements, the committee submitted its report to Mayor Patricia Chase-Green and King on August 2.

At an extraordinary statutory meeting on September 7, a majority of councillors, 13 out of 25, voted to continue the metered parking system with SCS, pending a renegotiation of the controversial contract with the         company.

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