As the outgoing MP for the Tunapuna constituency Esmond Forde has been campaigning for a chance to serve the area for another five years. He has promised to meet and treat with all the issues facing his constituents.
In tackling the three main issues head-on, Forde pointed to what he has already accomplished.
In the area of crime, while he made it clear that this falls under the portfolio of the Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, the MP said he has been working alongside the Tunapuna police to address the problem by first identifying who are the ones in a particular age group committing the crime
Forde said he has formed a Youth Advisory Desk at his office to deal directly with the younger constituents to find out their wants and needs.
Forde said his office was also working closely with several organisations like MIC Institute of Technology, MUST (Multi-Sector Skills Training) and the military and sporting clubs to facilitate a career path for some.
“We won some, we lost some,” he said.
He admitted that while some progress had been made, “some of them get lost in the cracks.”
In terms of unemployment, Forde said this goes hand in hand with his anti-crime efforts.
He said that he has a good relationship with companies at the Macoya Industrial Estate, for example, and has been able to get employment for some who desired.
But he highlighted a bigger problem, “nobody wants to work and 8 to 4 job.”
He said this was a mindset that needs to change if progress is to be made.
“We could lead the horse to the water but you can’t make him drink,” Forde commented.
He said as MP he has “tried every trick in the book.”
The third area of concern for residents of Tunapuna is poor road infrastructure.
Forde explained that the primary roads, that is the Eastern Main Road, the Priority Bus Route and the highway fall under the Ministry of Works and all secondary roads are the purview of the Tunapuna Piarco Regional Corporation (TPRC).
He said once he was aware of road repairs that need to be done he makes a report to the relevant agency.
He said the TPRC has already started an exercise to patch most of the roads in Tunapuna and this will continue in the coming weeks.
“Let’s be real, we cannot pave every street in Tunapuna but we try to prioritise.”
Forde said there was a water problem, particularly for people living in elevated areas.
He said WASA was aware and has been doing a lot of scheduling, but has assured that it will work towards regularising the supply to those affected.
“We are trying our best,” he said.
Forde is confident of victory come August 10.