September 27, 2016

Former Georgetown Councillor decries neglect of countryside

– outlines plans for Buxton/Foulis community progress

By Devina Samaroo

For 11 years, Rudolph McPherson served as a Councillor on the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) where he dedicated his time and energy towards bettering the capital city, while his community of Buxton/Foulis was being neglected by Central Government.
And then, at long last came the announcement of Local Government Elections (LGE), giving McPherson the ideal opportunity to vie for a seat on the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) where he can finally represent the interests of his people and push for community advancement.

Rudolph McPherson

Rudolph McPherson

With years of experience as a Georgetown Councillor, this independent candidate believes he has what it takes to move his constituency forward.
“I know what needs to be done in our community. I can do the job. I will ensure there are proper development projects,” he expressed with much confidence.
McPherson said since he was a child, he observed that heavy focus was never placed on empowering communities located in the countryside.
“Central Government never looked to develop any country area. All your taxes paid goes to Central Government to develop the city area. And we have to change that idea,” he posited.
The candidate expressed that it was utterly unfair that there were hardly any opportunities for self-advancement within the community.
“Imagine, our young people have to wake up very early to travel all the way to Georgetown for jobs. Why can’t we have same opportunities available right here in the community?” he explained, noting that this was the vision he would be working towards.
Moreover, the inadequate drainage and irrigation system in the community is one of the major areas of concern. According to the candidate, the current method being employed is practically useless.
“What you have are people from outside the community coming in and just clearing out the drains, and they’re not doing a good job at it, and then they leave the heaps of grass right at the corner of the drain and it just falls back in the drains and it defeats the purpose,” he noted.
To rectify this problem, McPherson said you have to review the criteria for hiring individuals to clean the community and put systems in place to ensure the job is properly executed. He noted too that it would be better to employ persons from within the community.
“You see, there are jobless people in the community and if you employ them to clean their own community, they would do it better than an outsider,” he explained.
He also noted that more emphasis needed to be placed on educational development for the youths.
“It is my intention to have a building for evening classes offered by the community, because we find that the young people in the village don’t really have anything to do,” he stated.
Additionally, he plans to develop a play park and community centre with the aim of providing more options for recreational and extracurricular activities for schoolchildren and family-oriented events.
McPherson also lamented the unavailability of a market place within the constituency and in this regard, he pledged to work towards this achievement if he is elected.
In underscoring the importance of having a market nearby, McPherson highlighted that such a facility would, above all, promote self-sufficiency.
“There are nearby communities that engage in large-scale farming like Enmore, Foulis, Paradise…who can just come to the market close by instead of travelling greater distances,” he stated, noting that it would ultimately be less expensive for the farmers.
He also noted that it would be convenient for the villagers to go to a market “right around the corner” as opposed to travelling to Mon Repos or Georgetown.
McPherson also lamented the lack of a healthcare centre in the community, noting that it was a great problem for the elderly folks.
Lastly, the candidate recognised that there were many incomplete houses and empty land scattered across the constituency which have practically become the perfect hideout spots for criminals.
“So you see, we need to get these areas developed,” he posited.
In this regard, he wants to engage the Communities Ministry/Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) along with the owners to develop policies whereby the landowners/homeowners can get financial assistance to have their homes completed.
On this note, McPherson expressed his disapproval of the repossession policy.
“Most often, these people don’t build their house because they don’t have the money. So, we should find ways to help them get the money if they really want to start building, rather than taking away their lands,” he stated.
This former Georgetown Council member will be represented by his symbol, the Map of Guyana, with a hammer forming part of the outline – symbolising the need to reconstruct the country into a better society.

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