With concerns and questions being raised about the granting of a lease to a shipping company by Town Clerk Royston King in recent times, former Councillor of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC), Eon Andrews, indicated that such decisions must be taken by the councillors.Town Clerk Royston King3Testifying at Monday’s Commission of Inquiry (CoI), Andrews indicated that the Town Clerk’s main role is to execute final decisions that are approved by the councillors during statutory meetings.He explained that when an application for a lease is presented, the Town Clerk is required to convene a meeting between the Legal Affairs Committee, the City Works and Public Health Department and the Finance Committee of the Council. Officials would examine the documents, and if it is approved, the Town Clerk would place the matter on the agenda for the next statutory meeting. There is no exception to this matter, unless there is an emergency in the city. If this arises, a round robin is formed to inform councillors immediately.In respect to granting tax amnesty for defaulting taxpayers, the Council is also required to make a decision, since the Town Clerk is “not the chief negotiator.”“He has to carry out the instructions of the Council, because, at the statutory (meeting), most of these things are voted on.”Andrews wase asked questions in relation to this issue so as to get a clear picture of how the Council is supposed to function. It comes at a time when other councillors have testified into City Hall’s operation, stating that decisions were taken by the Town Clerk without being deliberated upon at statutory meetings. A recent instance is the $125million contract that was allocated towards the restoration of the Le Repentir Cemetery which was finalised after a unilateral decision.Andrews said, “He has to notify the Council; and unless that is done, payments for anything else would not be done, because it was not approved…You have to get at least 16 of those 30 [councillors] to agree.”It was understood that the Lot 1Mudflat, Lombard Street property was also leased to Quick Shipping Inc by King, whereby they were given permission to operate on a piece of land at the cost of $625,000 per year. However, the land is owned by the National Industrial and Commerical Investments Limited (NICIL). Additionally, the former councillor noted that all lands which are owned by the Council are supposed to be within the remit of the Engineer’s Department. Therefore, information would be present as to what is available for leasing.
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