The southern city of San Fernando, through its Mayor Marlene Coudray, approved despatch of a letter outlining the corporation’s endorsement of the state of emergency imposed by the People’s Partnership Administration.
On Monday last, the southern city along with the capital city Port-of-Spain and a number of other boroughs and regional corporations were designated as hot spots by the government and became subject to a 9 pm - 5 am curfew as outlined under the state of emergency regulations.
Speaking during the San Fernando City Corporation (SFCC) 13th statutory meeting at Council Chambers, Harris Promenade, Mayor Coudray read a statement which affirmed her support for the emergency measure.
With the exception of PNM Mon Repos/Navet councillor, Shaka Joseph, who abstained when asked to vote on the motion seeking approval of the letter, all other councillors voted “aye”.
Coudray said the city would have to take all precautions to ensure that the services provided by the SFCC were not hindered by the anti-crime measure though she noted that one benefit which may arise from the SoE was the city’s’s scavenging services which had previously started at 3am but would now have to begin after 5am.
“A lot of people have been calling saying they are having peaceful nights,’ she said, adding, ‘we are willing to support government action to see what kind of relief we get from this action,” she said. The Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC) also added its support for the emergency action saying “decisive action” by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration “confirms her government’s resolve to eradicate the nation of the scourge of criminality that has engulfed this once relatively peaceful and safe nation of Trinidad and Tobago.”
“The council outrightly condemns the PNM for questioning, at every twist and turn, the action taken by the government,” CTTRC chairman Dave Persad, stated. “The leader of the PNM, Dr Keith Rowley must tell the nation what effective action, if any, the PNM undertook to arrest the unacceptable surge in the level of crime under its watch before seeking to discredit the present government’s action,” Persad added.
Les Effort West/La Romaine councillor within the San Fernando corporation Anthony Ramkissoon endorsed the state of emergency saying “the continued deterioration of law and order was unacceptable and urgent action is needed. This state of emergency has given our community some hope that something is being done to alleviate the lawlessness.”
Hazarie Ramdeen, chairman of the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation in a release pledged his “complete support” to the state of emergency and all other anti-crime initiatives by the chairman of the National Security Council - Persad-Bissessar.
The Chaguanas Borough Corporation in a release signed by Mayor Orlando Nagessar also endorsed the state of emergency. Nagessar, a veteran local government official, said: “from feedback from our burgesses it is quite evidence that everyone is in favour of the decision made by the Prime Minister.”
Alderman Keshwar Maharaj of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation said that this corporation “fully endorses” the state of emergency. Other members, Lawrence Lalla, Nirmal Singh, Ravi Lakhan, Annand Soodeen, Martin Terry Rondon (the lone PNM councillor in the corporation), Quincy Luces, Dayne Francois and Rewatee Khoorban all endorsed the state of emergency. “I am totally in agreement with the Prime Minister’s decision,” Rondon said.
Harrylal Persad, councillor for Barataria in the PNM controlled San Juan/Laventille corporation said: “The burgesses and councillor for Barataria would like to express our unequivocal support for this move.”