Trincity votes ‘No’ to family court
By CAROL MATROO Monday, February 4 2013
It was with a resounding “No” that the residents of Trincity turned down the proposal of a family and youth court in Trincity.
So much so that MP for Bon Air/Arouca Alicia Hospedales produced a petition which she said over 1,000 residents signed to veto the proposal. Scores of residents turned up at Trinity College East, Trincity on Saturday evening spending just over three hours saying why they did not want the court that was proposed to be built north of the Trincity Mall next to SuperPharm.
Arnim Cozier, of Home Construction Limited, in trying to show the benefits of having the building which would house four courts, said the court was compatible with the other facilities in the area.
Family Court assistant manager Eleanor Sammy-Rique said the court would be geared toward ensuring that children and their families were better served and protected by the justice system. She said there would be special facilities which would be better suited for young children and teenagers in mind.
She said the court endeared favourably to family court around the world. Director Special Projects, Ministry of Justice, Louis Nurse assured that the building adapted to the environment, trying to alleviate the fears of the residents that their properties would depreciate in value.
But this did not appease the residents, some of whom said it should be relocated to St Joseph, while others said it should be built where the abandoned Pan Trinbago headquarters was located along the highway.
Hospedales said she was told the allocated spot was supposed to be used as a drug/gun/narcotics court. Nurse denied this was ever so.
The residents said they were under the impression that the space was supposed to be used as a recreational park.
However, Cozier said it was always supposed to be for civic uses only.
Nurse said the land was purchased by the former government, and the decision to build the court was not made by the Ministry of Justice, but by the Chief Justice.
But the residents would not be appeased. One woman, Marcia, said she bought her property over 20 years ago and struggled to pay for it.
“I did not struggle for this, I thought this was for a recreation park for my grandchildren to enjoy. This court is not for a residential area, but a commercial one,” she said.
Another resident, Martin Richards, said he had no problem with the court, and when he bought his property he expected some commercialisation, but he too wanted it to be relocated.
His suggestion was the parcel of land opposite the Golden Grove Prison.
“The land is fallow, there is already the Golden Grove Road link to the highway. There is a taxi stand, a health centre, a hardware, to build the court here (Trincity), would put an even bigger strain on traffic along the Trincity Central Road,” he said.
Lithurst Murray said while he endorsed the need for a court, which he also wanted relocated, he was concerned about security in the area.
His argument was that officers at the Arouca Police Station who he said were already overburdened, would have to be resourced to the court, thereby diminishing the manpower at the station. “You not building no court here,” he said resolutely. Godson Caruth, the only positive voice for the construction of the court, told the gathering that fear hindered progress.
“You have to sacrifice something in order to gain something,” he said.