Giselle Laronde-West, former Miss World of 1986, won the gold medal in her kata category of female adults 35 years and over when the Shotokan karate international federation of Trinidad and Tobago
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Maraval residents: Town & Country Planning is useless
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”
―John Donne, No Man Is An Island
This letter is written in support of my Maraval community with sadness at the complete disrespect for homeowners’ rights demonstrated by respective T&T governments over the last years. Regardless of which government is in power, the Town and Country Planning department continues to be completely ineffectual. Neighbours who contravene planning stipulations continue to build because the organisation claims that while their rules have been contravened, they are “unable to find the owner and hence unable to take action.”
Governments continue to allow the invasion and occupation of our residential Maraval area by commercial and religious bodies that have complete disregard for the property rights or security of neighbouring homeowners. The rising crime now threatening our Lower Maraval community has resulted from the lack of nightly occupancy of these increasing numbers of religious and commercial properties, some of whom leave the properties unlit at night—a safe haven for criminals.
These factors, combined with the lack of representation by certain Maraval MPs and unresponsive policing, has led to the formation of our now highly effective and motivated group of Lower Maraval residents. The residents fighting for the sanctity of their homes have stood up against the lethargic and tardy planning and security outfits, forcing these groups to take note that we will not continue to accept their unresponsiveness.
MPs for both governments will have to take note that if they wish to occupy political power, their representation of us must reflect more than simply financial compensation for self. The cultural attitudes, notably work ethics, or lack thereof, of Trinidadians will have to change in order to preserve our homeland.
Neighbourhoods and citizens will have to come together as communities and demand that governmental outfits such as the Inland Revenue, Immigration, Licensing Division, Town and Country Planning and Police start respecting the people they are paid to serve.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”