Saturday, February 23, 2013

PM, London hold "cordial and productive" talks; will meet quarterly to discuss matters of mutual concern

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Friday held what her office described as "cordial and productive" talks with Orville London, Chief secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

The private discussions, which were arranged at the request of London, were held at the office of the Prime Minister. Persad-Bissessar was accompanied at the talks by Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal and Finance Minister Larry Howai.

London asked for the meeting to discuss several issues concerning the development of Tobago. 

One principal subject on the agenda was the review of the process for the granting of Internal Self-Government to Tobago. London suggested that the Malborough House format be used to ensure that there is sufficient collaboration between the THA and the Government to decide on the best way forward. 

A media release from the office of the Prime Minister (OPM) stated that London suggested that all Tobago political parties should have equal representation in the deliberations. He said Tobago is ready to move forward in its collaboration with the Central Government.

London also asked for a review of the relationship between ministers of Government and secretaries in the THA.

Another subject on Friday's agenda was funding for housing programmes in Tobago. London said the THA cannot keep pace with the demand for housing on the island, noting that there are more than 6,000 pending applications for homes. He asked for a review of the way the Government allocates housing.

London also asked the Prime Minister to have THA have stronger representation on key National Boards and Committees.

He also asked for quarterly meetings between the Prime Minister and Chief Secretary to discuss matters of mutual concern. Persad--Bissessar agreed to such meetings and stated that "the Chief Secretary was knocking on an open door."

The economy was also a part of the discussions with an emphasis on how the Tobago government and Port of Spain could collaborate on reviving the island's economy. 

The release from the OPM stated: "The Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary confirmed their consensus that all issues concerning Tobago would be treated with urgency and decisiveness in the interest of Tobago’s development. 

"Last year, Foreign Minister Dookeran headed a government team in talks on the Tobago economy. Both the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary have expressed confidence that similar consultations will be held in the near future."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai