Diego Martin and Siparia are set to become this country’s two newest boroughs.
The two constituencies are represented by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (Diego Martin West - one third of the area) and his political rival Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Dr Rowley announced the two districts, which are currently served by Regional Corporations, will be elevated to Borough status next year.
“The corporation has already agreed and has advanced to the Cabinet that it wants Diego Martin to be next borough of Trinidad and Tobago,” said the Prime Minister at the opening of the Diego Martin South Community Centre yesterday (Wednesday).
After the applause from those gathered, the Prime Minister confirmed the elevation of the Siparia Regional Corporation to borough status.
“We have received your recommendations and steps are being taken to accept, so 2021 there are to be two new boroughs in Trinidad, we will have the borough of Diego Martin and the borough of Siparia,” said Dr Rowley, prompting murmurs of laughter from the crowd.
Dr Rowley has been the member of parliament for Diego Martin West for 29 years, while his political rival Kamla Persad-Bissessar has been MP for Siparia since 1995.
The Prime Minister had previously explained that the opposition had used the electoral map, which divides Diego Martin into three seats whilst Siparia stands as a solitary constituency, as an attempt by the Government to ensure they held onto power.
“My colleague the leader of the opposition said something to you, I don’t know how many of you heard but it is a conversation that is carried ever so often by persons who don’t live in this part of the country. And that is that, and in this case it’s the government, the PNM, that somebody unfairly apportions seats for elections so they gave Diego martin three seats and Siparia only gets one,” said Rowley,” and that is the reason they lost the election.”
The Prime Minister then explained that the electoral districts are determined by population, and Diego Martin was divided into three seats because it currently has three times the population of the Southern district.
Once Siparia and Diego Martin become a borough they will join Arima, Point Fortin and Chaguanas.
The last time a district was elevated to borough status occurred in 1990 when Chaguanas was granted borough status.
Point Fortin became a borough in 1980, while Arima, the country’s oldest borough, became one in 1888.
A Borough is a common designation in several English speaking countries for an administrative district, town or local government area usually with a self-governing body.
The meaning of a borough, however, varies from country to country.