Residents: St James business ‘real’, Mr Mayor
By Miranda La Rose Friday, August 17 2012
click on pic to zoom in
Loius Lee Sing...
To back their demands to have the traffic in St James revert to two-way flow, and to restore the humps on the street in the vicinity of the Mucurapo Boys RC School, residents of St James have organised a “March for Life” for tomorrow.
Residents are also calling for Port-of-Spain City Mayor Loius Lee Sing to apologise for his remarks made in another daily on August 9 that if business was down in St James because of the new traffic plan, they were not “real” businesses.
At a community meeting held on Wednesday evening, at the St James Amphitheatre, St James, president of the St James Community Improvement Committee (CIC) Earl Crosby expressed concern that the committee has been unsuccessful in meeting with the Minister of Works Emmanuel George and Lee Sing to express their concerns.
Apart from the new traffic plans affecting community life including businesses, the young and old, Crosby told the gathering that infrastructure such as “a lot of traffic lights going up in various places leaves us to wonder if this was an experimental 90-day plan, or a permanent one.”
Noting that the authorities removed the humps on the road in the vicinity of the Mucurapo Boys RC School on George Cabral Street making it “a highway,” he called on them to restore the humps as school reopens in two weeks.
He reported that petitions signed by residents calling on the authorities to revert to two-way traffic in St James had been delivered to the minister and the mayor.
The minister, he said, scheduled a meeting for Wednesday morning, but this was cancelled on account of the disaster in the Diego Martin area.
The mayor, he reported, acknowledged receiving the letter and petition noting they were “duly noted” but no meeting scheduled.
Port-of-Spain South MP Marlene McDonald, who had the petitions with over 2,000 signatures and the letters delivered since August 8, said the meeting should have gone on.
McDonald also distanced the PNM from the mayor’s remark saying it was not the position of the Opposition party and called him to apologise.
St James resident Anthony Ferguson said Lee Sing’s statement was disrespectful to residents and business owners and called on the mayor to “leave office.” This call was met with a round of applause and a shout of “fire him.”
Indigenous businesses, he said, had been in operation in St James for a long time. There were also national businesses such as First Citizens Bank and Royal Castle, and international businesses, such as KFC, Scotiabank and RBC Royal Bank, which were all negatively affected.
According to Crosby, a resident of St James from birth, the community has a lot of real landmark businesses, hires real people, pays real taxes, has real families, and real debts.
“We support a lot of people in St James and some outside of St James. The mayor should not insult us like that,” he said.
The March for Life tomorrow is due to move off from the corner of Long Circular and Western Main roads in a westerly direction to George Cabral Street.