Kamla for budget talks with THA

Minister of Works Jack Warner brought the news to Tobago journalists following a meeting with the THA yesterday at Mt Irvine Hotel. This was Warner’s first visit to the island since assuming ministerial office.

Warner was accompanied by senior Ministry officials, including Minister in the Ministry Rudy Indarsingh and Permanent Secretary Cheryl Blackman while the Assembly team included Tourism Secretary Oswald Williams, Division of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (DIPU) Secretary Godwin Adams, and THA Chief Administrator Dr Ellis Burris.

Also present at the talks was Minister of Tobago Development and Tobago East MP Vernella Alleyne-Toppin.

Talks also revealed a new Licensing Division Office in Tobago will be established soon to replace the existing cramped facility.

Warner also said an acute staff shortage which is hampering the effective delivery of service at the licensing office has also been placed on the front burner and the issue will taken to Cabinet tomorrow.

With respect to the Licensing Division initiative, London and Warner both noted this would be a “shared responsibility” between the Assembly and the Ministry. They confirmed this format would also apply in other areas of development upgrade in the island involving the Ministry.

Permanent Secretary Blackman said Government’s proposed introduction of a Motor Vehicle Authority (MVA), for which legislation was currently being drafted, was also high on the agenda at the meeting.

She said the MVA will be introduced in a “limited” way in November. The THA’s Legal Officer and the Ministry’s Legal Department are to engage in discussions to hammer out a structure for its implementation in Tobago, Blackman said.

There are also plans to upgrade the existing facilities at the Crown Point International Airport, including paving of the runway and the eventual construction of a new airport for which no definite timeline was given.

“This (meeting) was an eye-opener for me. What we have done is lift the bar in terms of collaboration between the Ministry and the Assembly,” Warner told journalists.

For his part, London said he was heartened by the “quality” of the discussion and the assurance from Warner for his commitment to meaningful collaboration with the Assembly authorities.


"Kamla for budget talks with THA"

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