The Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) yesterday said it remains opposed to the “corrupt” contract which brought metered parking to the city this year and warned that it is prepared to resume street protests which were seen as a key factor in the suspension of the project by the Ministry of Communities.
In a statement yesterday, MAPM said it has taken note of recent reports in the media suggesting that there will shortly be a resumption of the parking meters system in the city under the concessionaire Smart City Solutions (SCS).
“MAPM takes umbrage to this announcement and at the continued underhanded efforts by officials at the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown to forge ahead to foist this corrupt contract on the Guyanese citizenry despite the MAPM along with other stakeholders highlighting ad nauseam the numerous deficiencies in the process of selecting and engaging Smart City Solutions as the provider of parking meter services in Georgetown”, the group which held regular protests outside City Hall, said.
MAPM said that the thirteen councillors who “voted to renegotiate this corrupt contract have demonstrated their laxity for transparency and due process”. It further argued that the five members of the committee appointed to renegotiate the contract were some of the same aforementioned thirteen and it is clear that they intend to carry out their mandate with the same lack of care.
“It speaks volumes that there is already talk of the resumption of parking meters when there is no evidence that a feasibility study and a cost benefit analysis was done, two things which the public has been asking to see for months and which was also highlighted in the Ferreira report”, MAPM said. This report was spearheaded by city councillor Malcolm Ferreira.
“The MAPM will not compromise on its position that the contract between the City Council and SCS suffers from a number of procedural and other deficiencies and may be deemed illegal due to breaches of various laws such as section 229 of the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chap. 28:01 which provides that notice must be given and invitation sought from the general public bids by way of sealed tenders bidding for execution thereof of contracts exceeding $250,000, and to select from among those bids using a fair and transparent process and abiding by fixed and pre informed guidelines of eligibility by bidders”, the group, which mobilized hundreds of protesters, said.
The group said that it wanted to remind the M&CC that evidence is yet to be produced by the Mayor and Town Clerk that prior authorization was given to the Town Clerk for the execution of the SCS Contract by majority decision of the Councilors as mandated by section 56 of the Act.
MAPM said it wanted to reiterate its position that it was not against a structured system for traffic regulation within the central areas of the city including measures to enable the orderly parking of vehicles and the need for the M&CC to increase their revenue base.
“MAPM is not prepared to support, neither allow the successful renegotiation of this corrupt (contract) nor the resumption of the parking meter system in Georgetown by SCS regardless of the minimal cost attached. We therefore stand ready to mobilize our supporters to resume our street protests and exercise any and all options available to us to prevent this abomination from moving forward. We also call on the Honourable Minister of Communities not to release the suspension of the parking meter bylaws”, the group stated.