Chief Secretary Orville London is laying the blame for the slow pace of installation of street lights across the island on the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC).
London was responding to a question from the audience at the eighth meeting in the THA democratisation series last Thursday night at the John Dial Community Centre. The Chief Secretary said T&TEC had so far failed to install street lights requested although the Assembly had paid over $2 million for the job months ago. He said he intended to take up the matter with the T&TEC manager shortly.
In relation to the lighting up of playing fields, London disclosed that lights were installed at 17 of them and there were two more to be done. However, he added, the plan was to light up regional fields but this could not be done at fields in every community.
Secretary of Health and Social Services Assemblyman Claudia Groome-Duke said the Assembly had received insufficient funds for its caregivers’ programme and had to source funds from other areas to provide for the 120 persons in the programme. She said there was a request for an additional 142 persons. “Despite the shortfall, we have to take care of our people and nothing can stop us,” she stressed.
Chief Secretary Orville London told the audience that Tobago was currently going through a challenging period. “We are trying how best we can to operate with the limited resources provided,” he told the eighth meeting in the THA democratisation series on Thursday night at the John Dial Community Centre.
He noted that the $2.477 billion parliamentary allocation was half of what the Assembly requested to run Tobago in fiscal 2014 but as managers it will have to manage with what it received. He added that the THA administration regardless of the situation was making a commitment to the people of Tobago that their quality of life would not deteriorate. He said if there were hard decisions to make they will be made.
Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary emphasised that delinquency would not be tolerated on the URP worksites. London warned that he would personally be addressing any misdemeanour. But even as work was set to resume on URP sites, one resident of the area, Jeannine Thomas expressed concern about working conditions on sites. To this, Secretary for Health and Social Services, Claudia Groome-Duke said that they are trying to properly address the problems.
Another resident, Ann John, complained that she was having trouble getting assistance for persons with disabilities and seniors. In response, the Secretary for Health and Social Services blamed this situation on the government paying more attention to wildlife protection than care for seniors and those with disabilities.