West: New complex will help Point Fortin

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Public Administration Allyson West. – File photo by Angelo Marcelle

PUBLIC Administration Minister Allyson West says the people of Point Fortin and environs could expect to benefit in the near future from the new Point Fortin Heritage Administrative Complex.

West spoke at the launch of the project at the former Trinmar building in Point Fortin on April 30.

“This landmark building will become the hub for the delivery of central government services to the people of Point Fortin and surrounding communities.”

West thanked Heritage Petroleum Ltd, the owners of the building, for making it available to the Government.

“The convenience and efficiency of a one-stop shop, offering a range of social, registry, financial and community services, will become a reality for Point Fortin very shortly.”

Through its project management unit and property and real-estate services division, West said the ministry will be working with the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (Udecott) and the project’s main contractor, SAS Marketing and Construction Services Ltd, to develop the Point Fortin Heritage Administrative Complex over the next few months.

She was confident the complex would be opened before December 31.

West praised Point Fortin MP Kennedy Richards for being the driving force behind this project.

“Kennedy drives and he pushes to get things done.”

West reflected on the intrinsic role that Point Fortin has played in national development in areas such as agriculture, sport, culture and energy.

She said this project as well as others such as the new Point Fortin Hospital and Point Fortin Fire Station, reflect Government’s commitment to improve the quantity and quality of service to the people of Point Fortin.

West added that the complex will have modern office facilities, green recreational spaces, a food court, parking for over 100 vehicles and multiple entrances to cater to the needs of differently abled people.

She also said apart from modern office spaces, employees at the complex will have other benefits there such as homework centres for their children.

West praised the people of Point Fortin for their resilience and ingenuity.

She hoped these qualities would turn the complex “into a hive of activity and impetus for growth of new business opportunities.”

West said a similar complex is being contemplated for Arima.

She added that Government’s efforts to decentralise its services continue through the creation of physical spaces like administrative complexes and through digital initiatives as well.

Richards thanked the Prime Minister, who is also line minister for Udecott, for the role he played in launching this project.

Recalling his entry into politics in 2010, Richards said he has learnt an important lesson since then: “Vision before strategy.”

He said Dr Rowley has a vision for national development and it is something that he has instilled in all members of the government from day one.

Richards added that while the strategy to achieve different aspects of national development may change as circumstances do, the vision remains constant.

He said the idea of the complex was something that he has been lobbying his government colleagues for the the last four years.

Richards related the experience he had with the death of a relative, which saw him spending over four hours running back and forth between different government offices in Point Fortin to get the documents he needed.

He said it made him ponder one question: “Why can’t we have everything in one space?”

Richards was pleased that the new complex will have the range of services West alluded to.

He shared her optimism that the complex could stimulate the local economy as well. Richards also hoped the complex could serve the needs of people from other communities such as Sangre Grande, Mayaro and Penal.

Also attending the launch were Communications Minister Symon de Nobriga, Labour Minister Stephen McClashie and Point Fortin mayor Clyde James.