Municipal Association calls for urgent Govt bail out

first_imgThe Guyana Association of Municipalities (GAM) is calling on Government to bail out the various cash-strapped municipalities, particularly Georgetown and Linden, to assist them in bringing better financial management to these local organs.This is despite the work being done to strengthen municipalities across the country. But according to GAM, financial stability remains one of the most threatening issues that continue to face these local organisations.As such, President of GAM, Carwyn Holland, called on Government to assist the various municipalities in helping repay their debts and return financial stability to their daily operations.“We’re only getting million as subvention from the Government, so I hope you can understand that there is significant development going on in Linden and I am just hoping that we can get our share of the bailout. Linden needs help,” he related, during a press conference on Thursday.He added that if Government needs to bail out Georgetown, “I do believe Government needs to bail out Linden. But these bailouts must come with some kind of management to ensure that there is proper spending and responsible financial management. As President of GAM, I do realise that there is a struggle for effective financial management across municipalities.”On that note, the GAM President stressed the need for proper financial management at municipalities – something he admitted is lacking.Holland noted that some organisations and the Communities Ministry have been working to strengthen the financial arm of these local bodies. Questioned further about reasons why he feels that these municipalities are faced with bad financial management, the GAM President said the reasons vary.“All across the municipalities, you have deficient staffing. You see the municipalities cannot afford, in some ways, to hire the best. The municipalities cannot afford to sometimes fully staff these departments.”The Guyana Association of Municipalities was officially re-activated earlier this year. The body came into being on May 20, 2017.The role of GAM and local government as a whole is seen as an important platform in the national development of the nation, with the potential to unlock resources, and create economic opportunities at the local level.GAM has a crucial role to play in strengthening municipal governance and management structure for national development. The umbrella body has been working on several important initiatives which it plans to introduce in the coming year.last_img