Ian K Ramdhanie, msC,
Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Orville London has expressed concerns that Minister of Tobago Development Delmon Baker was undermining the assembly’s autonomy by “setting up a parallel THA.” London was speaking yesterday at the PNM’s media briefing at Balisier House, Port-of-Spain. Under the THA Act, London said, the THA controls certain areas, mainly culture, sports and community development.
He said the ministry was supposed to act as a co-ordinator in other areas under the Central Government schedule, but had been neglecting those areas. “We actually have situations where institutions set up in the THA are now being mirrored in the ministry. We already have a court matter with the Central Government, with one of the areas where we think there was encroachment.”
London said Baker was colluding with the Government “in order to undermine the very institution for which the people have fought. I am appealing to the decency of the minister that he should not be colluding with his partners in the PP Government to undermine the autonomy of the institution which was set up to cater for the interest of the people.”
London said he wrote the Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the matter and “in fact, the minister did indicate to me that he was carrying out the instructions of the Prime Minister.”