Chief Secretary Orville London has said that Tobago was currently going through a challenging period.
“We are trying how best we can 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.
London said the Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries will report to the people of Tobago on what he described as the “real Tobago budget” at the plenary sitting of the Assembly on October 24 at 1.30 p.m. He urged Tobagonians to follow the presentations which will be carried live on television and radio.
In response to a question from the audience the Chief Secretary said the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (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 at17 of them and there were two more to be done. However, he added, the plan was to light up regional fields and could not do so at fields in every community.
Secretary of Health and Social Services Assemblyman Claudia Groome-Duke said the Assembly had received insufficient funds for its care givers’ 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 of and nothing can stop us,” she stressed.