Urban Development Minister to meet with Woodbrook residents

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A galvanised fence has been constructed at the site of a proposed police post at Adam Smith Square, Woodbrook. The site is now being used as a site office for sidewalk refurbishment works. – SUREASH CHOLAI

Housing and Urban Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis said she will meet with residents of Woodbrook soon to discuss the developments at Adam Smith Square, Woodbrook.

Part of the square is being used as a holding area for vehicles and materials working on the pavement refurbishment project on Ariapita Avenue.

Originally, it was announced that a police post and public toilets would be built on that part of the square, but this was met with vociferous opposition by residents, who protested on August 19, as well as circulating a petition calling for the construction to be halted.

Robinson-Regis told Newsday she received a request for a meeting from the residents on Thursday.

“We’ll be discussing all the issues at the meeting. I don’t know when the meeting will be held, as we just got the communication from the residents, so I have to arrange with regard to Udecott and my parliamentary colleagues. The matters have been brought to a halt and following that meeting we will make an announcement with regard to how we’re moving forward.”

City mayor Joel Martinez said he was not aware whether the police-post project had been cancelled, but he knew Robinson-Regis had suspended the building of anything on Adam Smith Square until the situation could be resolved.

He said the refurbishment of the sidewalks to accommodate disabled people was ongoing, as well as the greening of the area. Asked about residents’ complaints that the roads remained in poor condition, Martinez said the work was focusing only on Ariapita Avenue at this time.

“It’s the Ariapita Avenue rejuvenation programme. We’re tackling Ariapita Avenue and we’re doing the work there, we’ve hired a contractor, we’ve had all the consultation for Ariapita Avenue. I don’t want to answer something that is outside the scope of works. We’re talking about Ariapita, then you ask about the side roads, then you’re going to ask me if we’re tackling the side roads, so why not tackle Woodbrook, and then why not St James, and then why not tackle Newtown. That’s what we’re doing in Port of Spain, one by one. We will get to all those other areas eventually, we’re focusing on trying to get something done in a particular area, and the rest of it will lend itself to future development.”