With the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) planning to hand over the management of Sophia to the Georgetown municipality, a seven-member committee was yesterday appointed to enter into discussions with the body on behalf of the new Mayor and City Council (M&CC).
Heading the committee is former Deputy Mayor and resident of Sophia Akeem Peter. Peter is being supported by Deputy Mayor Alfred Mentore, former mayor Patricia Chase-Green, Eketa Edwards, and Clayton Hinds and PPP/C councillors Dion Younge and Param Persaud.
In correspondence, dated December 3rd, the council was informed of the CH&PA’s intention of handing over the community to the council.
The letter, addressed to acting Town Clerk Sharon Harry-Munroe, stated that the housing agency is in the process of “preparing the necessary documentation for handing over the management of the Sophia Housing Area….”
In the letter, the CH&PA also requested a meeting with the council to discuss the status of development within the housing area and development plans.
APNU councillor Oscar Clarke told fellow councillors during discussions that they should not rush to incorporate Sophia into the city given the council’s poor financial health. He noted that the council should take a position and relate it to the CH&PA. He noted that “many things needs to be done before this process is completed….A council has to look at the requirements of a residential area, drains, roads, squatting, and so, it is my view that we consider it internally, before we fix a day to meet with them,” Clarke added.
“We should have a fact finding exercise and identify the needs [of the community] to be in a position to say what the community needs,” added Councillor Heston Bostwick, of APNU. He further suggested that the council look at its’ 2019 budget to determine whether it is capable of carrying out infrastructural works in the area. “We don’t want to have to put projects on the backburner because we don’t have the cash flow,” he added.
After listening to the submissions by the councillors, Mayor Ubraj Narine suggested that when the committee meets with the CH&PA it should enquire about the development projects for Sophia as well as the timeline for the handing over.
According to the correspondence seen by this newspaper, the CH&PA was looking to hand over the community in the first week of this month.