CASTRIES, St. Lucia., CMC:
The Castries City Council (CCC) has brushed aside allegations made by the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) that it had placed more than a 100 workers on the breadline because of their perceived allegiance to the former government.
Mayor Shirley Lewis described as “political mischief” the allegations made at a news conference last week by Opposition Leader Stephenson King, who also announced that the UWP was withdrawing from all bi-partisan initiatives with the ruling St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government.
She said that the CCC would not allow “such distorted information” from people who should know better insisting that the Council had “inherited a situation that called for an immediate review of the (its) activities.
“The Board in its wisdom recognised the need to begin with areas where Council expends large sums to determine the merit of the expenditure,” said Lewis, adding that as part of the exercise, the CCC had evaluated the performance of 33 sanitation contracts based on numerous complaints.
“This exercise began with the Council conducting a geographical tour of the areas under the responsibility of the Council, taking into account areas for which sanitary services were contracted for.
“A thorough inspection of all the areas for which the contracts had been issued was undertaken and it was recognised that there were serious deficiencies in the services that needed to be addressed as the existing arrangements left much to be desired.
“The total value for the 33 sanitation contracts amounted to EC$151,434 (US$56,086) paid fortnightly at an average of EC$4,588 (US$1,699) per contract,” she said.
Lewis, the wife of former prime minister, Dr. Vaughn Lewis, said that a further examination of the contract documents revealed significant flaws that included contracts being renewed in September of 2011, two months before the last general elections.
She said come contracts did not state the sums contracted for but yet monies were paid out.