THE EDITOR, Sir:
Let us not be confused by Richard Azan's "God is God" utterances, as the contractor general's report discloses that there was, at the very least, clear breach of rules and procedures as it relates to the construction and operation of the shops at the Spaldings Market. His resignation was, therefore, quite in order.
What is also worrisome about the whole affair is the failure of the officers of the parish council to pursue the matter. Anyone who has had to pay fees to a local parish council for signs, banners, use of a park, or just for having a function at home which comes under the purview of the Noise Abatement Act, comes away with the feeling of being at the council's mercy.
One is aggrieved not only at the excessive fees but also at the thought that the parish council finds every opportunity to charge fees. Just as it is in the nature of politicians to press against the rules, either for genuine purposes in the interest of their constituents or for disingenuous purposes being self-serving interests, so it seems to me to be in the nature of parish councils to charge as much as they can for all that they can.
The finding of the contractor general that "officers of the parish council, though having gained knowledge of the 10 wooden shops, allowed, whether wittingly or unwittingly, the problem to persist and for the revenue payable to the parish council, whether for vending on the market compound or the utilisation of space on the market property, to remain uncollected for approximately six months from the tenants who occupied the 10 wooden structures" is, therefore, cause for great concern.
What caused these officers to act not only contrary to rules and regulations but also contrary to their fee-collecting nature? Could it have been fear of one form or another? Or was it just that they had no backbone to stand up to the minister by insisting that the project be done in the proper way?
Public servants, generally, need to always remember that politicians come and go, but that in their hands lies the integrity of our systems and institutions. It is their role not to be stumbling blocks, but to instead be facilitators of what is in the interest of the people, being careful at all times to ensure that the right thing is also done in the right way.