Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan has formally sworn-into office the new Board of Directors of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA.)
The swearing-in took place in the boardroom of the CH&PA on Brickdam, in the presence of Ministers within the Ministry, Valerie Adams-Patterson and Dawn Hastings-Williams, staff of the CH&PA, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lelon Saul and several members of the public.
The Board comprises; Elsworth Williams, Junior Garrett, Sheik Mahmood, Mohamed Dawood Khan, Cleveland December, Mark Ambrose, Carlton Beckles, Winifred Heywood, Rookmin Ramcharran, Sonia Gumbs-Luke, Dr. Mallika Mootoo, Glenyss James, Heather Martins, Thandi McAllister, Michael Huston, Naresh Mangar and Waneka Arrindell and Egbert Carter.
Ministers of Communities Ronald Bulkan, Valerie Adams-Patterson and Dawn Hastings- Williams and CH&PA CEO, Lelon Saul with members of the newly inaugurated CH&PA Board of Directors
They encompass the representatives of the nine municipalities, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Guyana Lands and Surveys Commissions (GLSC), Central Board of Health, and other fit and suitably qualified individuals.
Minister Bulkan charged the members of the Board to serve with commitment and integrity. “With these qualities much can be achieved,” the Minister said.
He also urged that they ensure good governance of the agency, and that they add to the value of its operations. “I am cognisant that the task will not be easy, but I am sure that you will bring your skills and experience to the table,” the Minister said.
“I am in no doubt that you will serve with distinction and excellence, and leave a lasting legacy of success in our quest to improve the conditions under which our people are living,” he added.
The Board was also asked to adopt an attitude of cooperation and meaningful citizen participation. Minister Adams-Patterson, on her part, particularly urged cooperation, between the board and CH&PA management.
According to Minister Adams-Patterson the relationship between the old Board and management was “not as expected.” She said she has great expectations of the new board. “I know that this CH&PA Board is going to accomplish great things in these two years, but I just want us to recognise that we cannot do it by ourselves,” the Minister said. She noted that, “the board cannot do it without the management and the Ministers, and the Ministers could not do it without the board and the management, and so we need to work together.”
Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan addressing the members of the newly inaugurated CH&PA Board of Directors
She noted that there is a lot of negativity in the public about the CH&PA. “With this new board and new partnership, we can correct it and surpass the expectations of the public,” the minister said.
Chairman of the Board, Elsworth Williams, urged that the members seek the window of opportunity that has been placed on them to discharge a service to the populace. “This is our kairos (opportune) moment to make a difference, to impact our communities and by extension this nation, and in so doing, fulfilling a tremendous need that exists in this nation,” Williams noted to the membership.
CH&PA’s function is to address land use planning, and is in fact the principal element in the local planning and housing system.
The role of the CH&PA’s Board in relation to the work of the department is to provide oversight, particularly as it relates to processes, finances, product and quality of work, and to do this without doubt, hence contributing to the good governance of the agency.
The life of the old CH&PA Board came to an end in December 2016, in keeping with the government’s plans to establish an age requirement for persons who sit on state boards, agencies and commissions. The old board was chaired by the former Mayor of Georgetown, Hamilton Green. Green was over the age of 80.