One day after City Hall approved the amended by-laws paving the way for the return of the controversial parking meter project, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has urged that the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) be given an opportunity to attempt to address the city’s woes and if citizens were still not satisfied, then they can have city administrators removed at the upcoming local government polls.Speaking at the post-Cabinet press briefing on Thursday, Minister Harmon posited Government was never against paid parking in Georgetown, but only intervened to ensure that the controversial contract between the M&CC and Smart City Solutions (SCS) was reviewed.“What we felt was that there was a need for order in the city and that the City Council in its deliberation and its judgement recognised that this is a way to go, and I believe we must allow the City Council to function as a city council, and not just as an arm of Government. The people elected them to govern the affairs of the city and they must be given that opportunity to govern,” he noted.According to the Minister of State, if citizens are still not happy with the way the city’s affairs is being handled by this current administration, then they will have the opportunity to do something about it.“Later on this year or some time later this year, you will have an opportunity to have a referendum as to whether in fact you believe the city fathers and mothers are doing a good job. And so allow them to function, because it must not be said that ‘Oh we were not allowed to function and this is why this didn’t happen or that didn’t happen.’ Give them an opportunity to do what they have to do and let us move on from there,” Harmon posited.The Minister went on to reiterate that the Georgetown City Council was an independent body, and that the decisions that were being made were well within the remit of the City Council.“Therefore, unless an approach is made to Central Government, we would prefer to allow the City Council to do its work,” Harmon urged.The implementation of paid parking in the city was met with widespread protests from civil society.This forced Government to order City Hall to suspend the contract with SCS back in March last year and have it reviewed. A committee was subsequently set up to renegotiate the contract and amended bylaws, which were debated and approved by the Council at a special meeting on Wednesday.City Hall will now have to display the amended by-laws for a minimum of 14 days in public spaces and during that time, persons could write to City Hall expressing their concerns.They will then be forwarded to Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan for his approval; if approval is given, the by-laws will be gazetted.Under the new agreement, persons will be paying $150 per hour and $800 for eight hours of parking in the city. Meanwhile, residents of the city will be issued with a restricted residential pass for free parking from 17:00h to 19:00h Monday to Friday while parking will be free on Saturdays.
Jack Butland has told talkSPORT he would not leave Stoke City purely for the money, but would consider an offer from a bigger club if it meant realising his dream of Champions League football.The 24-year-old goalkeeper is back and raring to go for the new Premier League season after recovering from a year of injury hell.After a frustrating 12 months out with an ankle problem, Butland returned to Stoke’s starting XI for the final five games of last season, but his return to fitness has inevitably led to links with a move away from the bet365 Stadium.Manchester United are reportedly monitoring the England international as a potential replacement for David de Gea, should the Spaniard move to Real Madrid this summer.And while Butland admits Champions League football is one of his chief career ambitions, and that Man United are ‘the biggest club in the world’, the young goalkeeper has told talkSPORT he is solely focussed on the season ahead with Stoke.Speaking to Jim White, Butland said: “My ambitions are to be the Stoke number one and England number one, but there are other things I want to achieve in my career as well.“I want to play in the Champions League and I want to win trophies.“There’s no reason why we can’t win trophies at Stoke, we’ll try and win some cups and do as well as we can, but I obviously have ambitions.“If it’s the right move at the right time, you never know. You always have to think about these things.“A club like Manchester United, or whoever it may be… United are, for me, the biggest club in the world and you have to take those things in consideration.“But if it’s right, if it’s not, I’ll make those decisions at the time.“I’m back in a Stoke kit at the minute and I’m focussed on doing as well as I can in pre-season and the season ahead, and what will be, will be.“It’s all just speculation and rumours at the moment, and I don’t get into that too deeply.”Butland also insisted the lure of a lucrative move overseas does not tempt him to leave his home country, and that the Premier League is the only place an England goalkeeper can realistically compete for an international spot.Joe Hart, his direct competitor for the England No.1 shirt, moved to Torino on loan last season in search of move regular football, but when asked if he would entertain a move abroad, Butland added: “No.“For me, the money is not an interest, it’s about playing football and the best opportunity to represent your country is in England.“I think it’s the best league in the world and for an English goalkeeper it’s the place to be.“For Joe, the circumstances were different. He needed to go out and play and he took a difficult decision to go to Italy. That’s credit to him because it’s a tough thing to do.“He did what was necessary but, for me, if I can I’ll always stay in England and play in this league for as long as possible.”Listen to talkSPORT’s interview with Jack Butland IN FULL above!