By Zena HenryDespite Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud energetically emphasizing on the importance of local polls and the hindrances caused by the non-holding of Local Government elections, he refused to answer pressing questions from media operatives as it pertained to his Ministry’s seeming reluctance to earnestly deal with the issue.The Minister was answering questions about the difficulties faced because of the absence of local polls,John Carlson Capitals Jersey, when he divulged that he was absent for debates over the four Local Government Bills in parliament for reasons best known to him; and he did not wish to disclose them.From left Permanent Secretary Collin Croal, Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud, and Junior Minister Norman Whittaker at yesterday’s press conference.This was the first instance,Rick Nash Rangers Jersey, the opposition members had stated, which caused a delay in the discussion of the Bills for local government polls. After this stunt, they said the Minister refused to answer when called on a second occasion to present the reform Bills. They argued that local polls have not been held since the early 1990s and they were earnestly trying to put the matter out of the way so the election could be held this year.Persaud stated,Jonathan Drouin Lightning Jersey, however, that he did not answer calls to discuss the Bills last month because the Opposition used its one-seat majority to rearrange government business. The minster told the media that the whole Local Government body is seriously affected by the absence of local polls.He said the actions of the opposition – with Mayor Hamilton Green as an example – demonstrates a clear indication of when people are around for too long, how citizens are denied proper service. He said Local Government election is impacted by the type of services delivered to citizens. He added that local government officers are frustrated.“Too many Councils lack quorum; they can’t have meetings as often and Councils have difficulty in functioning,” the Minister said.He continued that road maintenance programmes, Neigbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC) and garbage collection systems are ailing, while most affected is the enforcement of bylaws with local authorities. When asked,Derek Stepan Rangers Jersey, Persaud said there is no Bill in Parliament that has bearing of the holding of Local Government elections.Local polls cannot be held unless there is a complete reform of the Local Government process. There was an administrative and political agreement that was made as it relates to the reform Bills. That agreement, he said, is that local polls would only be held after a holistic reform process.At the last sitting that saw Minister Persaud being called upon to address the Local Government reform Bills, he remained mute and did not present the items for debate. He told media operatives that that occurred,Jimmy Howard Red Wings Jersey, “simply because some people who call themselves politicians feel they can break up the laws of this country.”He highlighted that order papers showed that the Bills were listed for discourse and the names of speakers to debate the Bills from People’s Progressive Party (PPP) side were submitted. Yet the opposition moved a motion using their one-seat majority to suspend standing orders and change Government business by bringing the Local Government Bills upfront and government issues lower down the debate line.He said that the opposition cannot change government business and described it as one entering another’s home and telling the homeowner how to organize their house. Had the opposition sought not to manipulate the orders, the Bills would have been debated and would have been history, the Minister declared.“But when we want to use a one-seat majority to show might, to bring arrogance ahead of law and order, we will end up in chaotic situations and the government will be no part of masquerading,Alex Delvecchio Red Wings Jersey,” he charged.Persaud registered that his commitment to local polls is unquestionable.Â* He said that the Bills will be debated today once the opposition does not attempt to interfere with government business.