RDC, Anna Regina Town Council to meet with REO on filling of drain

Officials from the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Two and the Anna Regina Town Council are expected to meet today with the Regional Executive Officer (REO) to discuss what some have described as an “ill-advised” decision by him to fill a main drainage channel in front of the Department of Education at Cotton Field.

REO Rupert Hopkinson had authorised the filling of a trench in front of the Department of Education without any prior consultation with or permission from the Town Council, which is the body responsible for the area. In addition to this, concerns have been raised over the possible implication such a move would have for the drainage system in the area.

Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt, who has publicly stated that the administration does not support the blockage of the trench, yesterday told Stabroek News that the REO has agreed to meet with him and the Mayor to discuss the issue of the trench as well as other issues affecting the region.

The meeting comes after Ramdatt claimed that that previous attempts to engage the REO were unsuccessful.

Hopkinson has recently faced more scrutiny after he was seen on video lambasting a councillor who questioned him about the authorisation of the project.

In the video, which was shared with Stabroek News, Hopkinson was approached by a councillor seeking clarity on the decision. The REO, in response, said, “I am the REO, I am in charge of this region, you tell anybody I say so… you tell anybody I say that the REO is responsible for everything the government owns in this region….”

Further questions about the actual role of the Town Council were met with the assertion by Hopkinson that “the administration is superior to the Town Council.”

Attempts were made to contact the Ministry of Communities and the chairman of the Local Government Commission for a possible comment on the behaviour of the REO, however, those attempts proved futile.

In the meantime, Ramdatt, in offering an update on the works done on the project thus far, explained that the project site was visited by RDC Councillors and Mayor last Tuesday, when works had already started. However, on Friday last, he noted, the works had ceased.

Ramdatt could not, however, say whether works resumed afterward since he was away for the weekend tending to other matters.

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