“An interesting ride.”
That’s how Chief Secretary Orville London described his 20 years as Councillor and assemblyman in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).
“I enjoyed it, I have a couple months to go and I will continue to enjoy it,” he told constituents of the Scarborough/Calder Hall electoral district, which he has represented for the past 12 years.
Of the district, London said: “Scarborough/Calder Hall has come a long way. I know what it was when I got here, I know what it will be when I leave here and I can say from a personal perspective that I am proud that I was here because I can leave with confidence that the London administration has made a difference to Scarborough/Calder Hall, and I make no apologies for that.”
It was London’s final “Face to Face” community meeting in the district, at the Mason Hall Community Centre on Tuesday night (August 16). He is due to retire from active politics at the end of the current Assembly in January.
London explained that the purpose of the Face to Face exercise is for the Assembly and the public “to share and to understand” each other’s views on the needs of the communities. He said the Assembly will continue to be sensitive to those needs.
“I want to give you the assurance that we will continue to listen and to respond,” London stated. “I want to give you the assurance that every issue raised will be treated seriously. We would not be able to respond to all of them immediately and some of them we would not be able to respond in this particular fiscal year but the point is that we have been responding quite well.
“I can also give you the assurance that in the next incarnation you will get the same quality service that you got in the last one…”
London told the gathering that development is a “journey”, which requires both looking forward “to where you’re going”, and also looking back “to where you came from”.
“I am saying that we as Tobagonians have to do the two things on that journey: look forward to where we are going and the steps we have passed,” London said. “If we compare what is happening in Tobago today and what is happening in the region, even some parts of the country, you would realise that we are still walking, (while) others are standing still, and some are even walking backwards,” London said.
The 2016 Face to Face series comes to an end this week at the L’Anse Community Centre on Tuesday (23rd August) and the Bon Accord Community Centre on Thursday. (25th August)