Once elected following the casting of ballots at the upcoming Local Government elections, the Independent Citizens for Progress (ICP) movement plans to bring the capital city of Georgetown back to its former glory through various strategies including the implementation of reliable and routine garbage collection, the implementation of a paid parking policy and measures to recoup billions of dollars owed to the Georgetown Mayor and City Council by companies.
The Independent Citizens for Progress, which is being coordinated by local Broadcaster, Bobby Vieira was official launched on Wednesday virtually with its prime focus on developing the city of Georgetown. Vieira told reporters that he felt inclined to initiate the movement to bring an end to the suffering of the capital city owing to dysfunctional local governance.
He was keen to point out that the movement is not a political party or is it affiliated with any of the other parties expected to participate in the elections. Added to that, is the fact the ICP will not be competing in any other local elections.
In addressing the prevailing garbage situation plaguing the city, Vieira said that his movement aspires to make receptacles more available, specifically targeting the fast-food restaurants.
“Our plan involves placing some four to 500 receptacles at various points in the city. When you do that, and you educate the citizens, because you cannot just put things and expect people to respond. You need to establish a period of education so that people will know that even if it’s a sweetie or a candy paper, or you drank a bottle of water and you want to dispose of it, you only have to make about three to four steps, you will meet the garbage receptacle and you throw it in there and that will help alleviate issues those receptacles can be branded by companies,” he explained.
ICP is aiming to have continuous engagements with Government, the private sector and other key stakeholders to address the long-standing issue of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council being owed billions of dollars in taxes. Vieira pointed out that if these discussions do not bring about the intended change, other measures would have to be considered.
“There’s always the recourse of the courts but engagement is my first belief,” he informed.
Catapulting the Mayor and City Council into self sufficiency is also an objective of ICP. In achieving this goal, Vieira informed that free parking around the city will become a thing of the past. Instead, ICP will seek to establish a system that allows for the collection of minimal parking fees.
“Just like you buy a card to go and make your calls, you could go to a location you will be able to go to a location and buy a parking tag. A tag will indicate whether it’s for the month or two months,” he said.
“In some instances, we are looking at even doing an incentive where people could buy parking tags for an entire year and you get a discount so that you will be able to display your parking tag. So, when the city traffic wardens are walking around in the economic zone or driving around and they look at your windshield and they see that your time has expired, you will be ticketed or you should be ticketed, because you’re violating,” he added.
The movement, though, still fielding suitable candidates has submitted its symbol to the Guyana Elections Commission and is slated to release its fifteen-point manifesto to the public later this week. It will be competing in the fifteen constituencies in Georgetown for seats on the City Council. Local Government Elections will be held on March 13, 2023.