Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 6th 2014 Contents A9
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The Diego Martin Regional
Corporation needs 65 municipal
police to serve residents fully.
But as of yesterday, the corpo-
ration only had eight, including
four special reserve officers (SRPs),
and complained that inadequate
staff was delaying work, specif-
ically in areas deemed hotspots.
This was revealed during a joint
select committee (JSC) meeting
yesterday at Parliament.
Chairman of the JSC Anthony
Vieira raised questions about the
efficiency of the municipal police
and asked how many offenders
had been prosecuted.
Municipal police inspector
Joanne Williams said there were
not a lot of convictions and they
were limited to one or two a
month because of the shortage of
Williams said vehicles were also
a challenge, as two were out of
"We are very short of officers
and we don t have enough officers
to go on foot patrols or mobile
patrols," Williams said.
CEO of the corporation Marva
Carter said help sought from the
T&T Police Service had not been
She said in one instance the
corporation spent extra money to
get police to work extra hours at
a work site for 11 days but only
got officers for two days.
Williams said the municipal
police were overburdened.
She added: "We would like to
do all of the policing but one of
our primary function is to protect
the personnel so we have to pro-
vide security and still have to do
our work. If I had enough staff, it
would not be a problem."
Local Government Minister
Marlene Coudray, a JSC member,
said her ministry was having dis-
cussions to improve staffing at all
corporations, specifically in the
area of policing.
Vieira asked Carter how many
would be needed to serve the
Diego Martin region properly.
"We did an assessment and we
believe 65 officers should be
assigned to the corporation to be
able to serve the people on a 24-
hour basis," Carter said.
The Diego Martin Regional Cor-
poration says it needs more fund-
ing to deal adequately with the
spread of the chikungunya virus
and the dengue virus in western
Speaking at a Joint Select Com-
mittee (JSC) meeting in Parliament
yesterday, principal medical officer
of health at the corporation, Antho-
ny Chang-Kit, said the corporation
was not getting the level of support
from the Ministry of Health to help
adequately in the spread of the mos-
He said the corporation had
intended to set up its own mini-
insect vector division to treat with
the issue but had not received fund-
"We need funding. If you give us
funding and the necessary equip-
ment we can help," Chang-Kit said.
He was responding to statements
by JSC chairman Anthony Vieira
that one of every two households
in Diego Martin could produce
someone who had suffered from
either ChikV or the dengue virus.
He said part of the problem was
also the high number of vacant lots
in the region.
"Their are a lot of open lots and
we cannot find the owners, and still,
in Diego Martin, in some areas there
is no pipe-borne water and people
have to store water."
The corporation delivered truck-
borne water to those areas, it was
That was criticised by Local Gov-
ernment Minister Marlene Coudray
who asked why the corporation was
delivering water in 2014.
"What have you done to engage
the Water and Sewerage Authority
to get water for these areas?"
She told chairman Darryl Smith
his corporation needed to identify
its needs and send its requirements
to the ministry.
Asked about drainage in the area
in relation to flooding, Smith said
the corporation had been active in
cleaning its 500 small drains and
rivers throughout the dry season
and added that in 2014 the area had
not seen the devastation caused by
flooding in previous years.
Smith said the corporation already
had started discussions with the
Ministry of Water Resources and
the Environment to create a proper
drainage plan for the region.
He said a barge, which had sunk
near the mouth of the Diego Martin
river, was a source of concern for
the corporation as it had created a
silt bank which could make flooding
"We wrote to the Ministry of
Water Resources and they said they
would be looking at it," he said.
Call for more $$
to handle ChikV
Diego Corporation to JSC:
Need for 65 cops to
help police hotspots
San Fernando mayor
Kazim Hosein is appeal-
ing to the relevant min-
istries to pay outstand-
ing backpay to daily paid
workers in the sum of
$19.6 million before
His appeal came one
day after the workers
attached to the San Fer-
nando City Corporation
staged a rowdy protest,
blocking vehicles from
entering the Carib Street
compound, as they
demanded they be paid
In a release from the
mayor s office yesterday,
the Hosein also appealed
to the workers to con-
sider delaying industrial
action while the issue is
"The non-payment of
salaries and allowances
stems from backpay for
a three year period out-
standing for the daily
paid workers. Negotia-
tions for daily paid work-
ers by the Contractors
and General Workers
Trade Union in this mat-
ter was successfully com-
pleted on October 2014,
the City Corporation
agreed to settle monies
"On the 19th Novem-
ber 2014, the computa-
tions were completed and
forwarded to the Ministry
of Local Government and
copied to the Ministry of
Finance. To date these
monies have not been
The release, however,
further stated that the
corporation had been
assured that the matter
would be expeditedly.
"From our communi-
cation, with the min-
istries we understand
Sando mayor to ministries....
Pay outstanding back pay to workers
Insp Joanne Williams of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation responds
to a question during yesterday's JSC meeting. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
that the matter has been
forwarded to the Ministry
of Finance as part of the
process. However to date
the monies have not been
released and the corpo-
ration is therefore, plead-
ing with Honourable
Ministers of the respec-
tive ministries to please
intervene on behalf of our
workers for the quick
release of the monies
before Christmas so that
the workers can enjoy
Christmas with their
Noting the corpora-
tion was ready to assist
in expediting the matter,
the union and workers
were assured they will
be kept informed about
w The corporation, the
release stated, looked for-
ward to the ministry s
quick response and
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