PORT OF SPAIN — Three councillors of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation yesterday crossed the floor to the new Independent Liberal Party headed by interim leader, Jack Warner.
The councillors are Valencia representative Lawrence Lalla of the United National Congress, Dayne Francois who represents Sangre Grande North West, also of the UNC, and Congress of the People councillor, Quincy Luces, who represents Sangre Grande North East.
In 2010, it was Warner who got UNC councillors of the Chaguanas Borough Corporation to join with the People’s National Movement to get rid of then mayor Dr Suruj Rambachan. It was the beginning of the animosity between both men.
The terms of office of all councillors and aldermen end in three weeks following which local government elections are expected to be called.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Lalla said the UNC did not exist in the Toco/Sangre Grande area and blamed the area’s MP, Dr. Rupert Griffith.
“The party’s interest is dead in this area and the hierarchy of the party knows what is going on and they have endorsed him (Griffith) further and now he has been made special advisr in the party,” said Lalla.
When contacted, Griffith said he wished Lalla the best, adding that crossing the floor was his (Lalla’s) democratic right.
He said Lalla was considered a non-performer among councillors, “and the people of Valencia don’t really want him anyway”.
Lalla, who said that he had threatened to leave the party before, explained: “I first threatened to cross the floor to the People’s National Movement as it was the only other party available and as we speak today no one from the party called to find out what is going on and I’m the vice chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation.”
He said back in 2010 when they were on the hustings for the general election a promise was made that they would create a paradigm shift in the running of local government to bring greater efficiency and service to the people, “but to date no attention, no focus has been made with any degree of urgency”.
Lalla added: “We have a high desire to serve the people but we were not allowed the resources to do so.” (Express)