Councillor Hill threatens to lead demonstration over ugly garbage skip
A dilapidated garbage skip at Tryall Gardens in Hanover was the subject of a huge debate in the Hanover Parish Council, which saw one councillor threatening to join residents in a demonstration against the municipality if the matter was not resolved.
The showdown began when Councillor of the Sandy Bay Division Lloyd Hill was told that despite his representations for a replacement skip and subsequent commitments made three months ago to rectify the situation during a site visit involving the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and the Roads and Works Department, the offending skip remained.
"If the residents decide they are going to demonstrate, I am going to lead the demonstration against this council," Hill told Lucea Mayor Wynter McIntosh. "I passed there this morning and the situation is still the same. The commitments were given on that site visit ... . These residents were actually going to go to the press because of the state and somebody told them to speak to the councillor and engage the NSWMA. It was in a deplorable state - a broken down skip with garbage scattered all over the place."
Hill said he was especially peeved because despite assurances given by the Road and Works Department that its representatives would do minor road repairs for the garbage truck to easily access the skip, nothing had been done.
"It is embarrassing, Mr Chairman, when as an elected representative, with your senior technical officer, you go and make a commitment to these people and three months after, you are just doing an estimate! It doesn't make sense. At the end of the day, we are the ones persons are saying are not effective as councillors," he said.
"Because one man said to me one day: 'I don't know how this thing works. You mean that you are the representatives of the council and the people that work for you, and an instruction is given and it's not carried out, and they still have their job?' We are ultimately responsible, Mr Chairman and we are not getting value," Hill stated.
He added: "Mr Chairman, if you are not going to remove the skip you would still have a responsibility to the 240-odd householders at the Tryall Gardens formal settlement. These are persons who do not come to the council to ask for a free cemetery spot! They do not come to the council to beg a liquor money! These are legitimate taxpayers who pay property tax, so can't we get some money from the property tax to give them a garbage skip?"
But Secretary-Manager Judy Lawrence said it was the NSWMA's responsibility to provide skips as this was part of their official mandate.
"The parish council is not in the business of providing skips. The parish council cannot find 200- and-odd-thousand dollars to provide skips. It cannot be a precedence being set that everywhere they want a skip, they claim parish council must provide. it We know that we are the regulatory officials and persons might be arguing, but every government department has their role to play, and it must be played. So mi nuh want nobaddy come tell me bout no money fi go put up skip. You need to go find the money to go put the skip where it needs to be put!" she said, turning to the NSWMA representative who was in attendance.
Lawrence suggested that a resolution could be passed for the one-off placement of a skip. She, however, later assured Hill that the council would assist.
"So we will work on this skip because the citizens who are legitimately living there are being inconvenienced. I don't really want to hear about any informal settlements," she said.