The Laventille East/Morvant constituency has endured the stigma of being a crime hotspot for years, But there are many other problems facing residents within this constituency,
Some of them include bad roads and drainage problems.
The people living in this constituency say they want their Member of Parliament Donna Cox to fix these problems.
Cox, who is now into her second term in office as MP for the area was first tipped to run for the Laventille East/Morvant seat at the 2007 general election while she was still a corporate communications professional at National Flour Mills. She was chosen over Fitzgerald Hinds who had held that seat for more than a decade.
Cox ran and won the seat for the People's National Movement (PNM).
Since then she has had the task of making representation on behalf of the constituents of Laventille East/Morvant. Her first term which began in 2007 saw her being elected on the Government bench where she held junior ministerial positions. She held onto the seat in the 2010 general election but is now seated on the Opposition bench.
Constituents interviewed about her performance by the Sunday Express last week seemed indifferent to her representation.
One woman who asked that her name not be used said: "I don't know who is Donna Cox. I have never seen her. Not before elections, not during, not after but what I do know is that we have a very bad water situation here. I know she is not to blame because is (the Water and Sewerage Authority) who sending the water, but she have to be our voice. Because WASA don't listen to us but her voice is bigger than ours."
Another resident of Morvant said although she too has never met or seen Cox she has heard that she is a good representative.
"I heard that she has passed through the community on a number of occasions meeting with the people but I can't say that I have ever seen her. Right now I need a road up by me because I am an old lady and my husband old and we are seniors and the road like a track right now. It's hard for us to go up and down an unpaved road. I hear people say they getting good response from her but I have never gone to her," she said.
Rickeisha Telemaque, a young woman living at Coconut Drive, Morvant, said Cox was trying and had done some work in her area.
"It's not much, but we asked for lights in the savannah and we got lights. We talked to her about the water, and it's not really her fault, but we does get real pressure with the water. Some day she came up and she say she still working on it."
Telemaque said Cox has been walking through the are about every two months to see what's happening with the people.
Jenelle John who lives on Poinsettia Drive, Morvant said she has not seen anything being done by her MP for her area but there were specific things that she needed to have addressed.
"There is the Early Childhood Learning Centre on the corner that they can't open yet. So long it finish and it just there. Nobody knows what the issue is but there are children who need to be in school who are out of school while the building remains closed, I find it is wasteful. There are plenty people who cater for it and every time you pass by there is this big school there and it not being used. She needs to look into that and have that situation fixed," John said.
Correy St Louis who was walking through Morvant when the Sunday Express visited also said he was not aware of what Cox had done since she came into office.
"I not seeing any difference. To me it doesn't matter who is MP, nothing is done. For example we need some garbage bins for the longest while, look at all the garbage on the ground right now.
The roads need to be fixed. Up by me the road in a mess. During election time when they were passing around we told them we wanted the road fixed and after that is the same thing. They never fixed it."
An elderly lady who has lived in the area for more than ten years and asked that her name not be used said she does not believe Cox has done anything.
"Look at the tall bush to the back of the Malick Secondary School. That needs to be cleaned, the drains need to cleared and none of that is being done. All of those things are dangerous to health because they could cause dengue and she not doing anything about it."
Kirt Villafana of Geranium Drive, Morvant said "Well, we have a problem with water, that is our main grouse. We have no water sometimes for three or four weeks. But she (Cox) passed around the other day and we let her know that since this Government come in place we getting pressure for water. I mean she in Opposition now so what she can do is limited."
Chester Regis who lives in a Housing Development Corporation (HDC) apartment at Petunia Drive with his family said his issues were personal but also affected other residents in the housing scheme as well.
"My issues, are issues that I have raised with Ms Cox before so she knows about them because the last time she passed around and was asking residents what their problems were I told her. These are Government houses and the windows you can't open them because every time you open them the louvres falls out. They need to be changed and this is not the first time that we are asking. This is very serious because most of the 25 houses on this street have the same problem."
Residents living on the other side of the constituency along the Lady Young Old Road also voiced concerns.
Arlene Ellis said: "The roads here an issue, the pavement, the walkway, even the play park near to my children's school needs to be upgraded because it is really run down right now. And we need to see (Cox) more in the Lady Young Old Road area because how will she know what issues are affecting the people if she does not come into the area?"
MP Donna Cox says she knows of all the issues raised by the residents and continues to make representation on behalf of the people.
She told the Sunday Express she has proof that she has been working in her constituency.
"I am aware of all of the problems raised because I have been around and I have been working on them. It is not just about seeing the MP but it is if your MP has been working for you and I have the proof that I have been working for them because all that I have done I have it properly documented. Every day I write numerous letters, pay visits to people and follow up on things," she told the Sunday Express in a telephone interview last Friday.
"Concerning the Early Learning Childhood Centre I have written four letters to the Minister of Education Dr (Tim) Gopeesingh concerning that because it has been completed since 2010, before elections, and they have not opened it. I have been writing to WASA on the water situation and I even had discussions with the Minister of Public Utilities (Emmanuel George) concerning it and that is only a recent development where they have not been getting a good supply of water."
Cox said comments about her not visiting her constituency were "totally untrue" because up to the day before this interview she had visited Coconut Drive, Morvant.
"And residents came out and said they see me all the time which was not a reflection of what I am now hearing.
"I have been the one championing the
water calls for them. because I have been getting truck borne water to go into some of the areas. I walked Coconut Drive on four occasions in the past two months between May and June and I was there again on Petunia Avenue yesterday," she said.Cox said she has also made representation on behalf of the people to have the bushes cut and drains cleared in the constituency but at the end of the day there was not much more that she could do. "I know about the situation but we have had the problem of not having the Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) gangs and the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) gangs working in the area and that is the reason for that. It is not the MP's fault. The MP can't fix that if she does not have the resources available to her. All I can do is ask," she said. She said she wrote to the HDC about the issues that residents have with their homes and apartments because some of them are saying that the HDC is not maintaining the houses."We have letters that we have written to the HDC on the issue that we can give to the Express. I wrote to them about tenants who have finished paying their mortgage for years and have not received their leases, as well as people who want to buy the rentals because HDC is not maintaining them," she said. Cox also disputed the claims by residents that she was not visible enough in the Lady Young Old Road area. "I don't know how come they are saying they don't see me. I don't know where they want to see me. I walk the area and they can also come to the office or call if they have a problem that I may not know about because the office is easily accessible. That is why I moved the office to the Lady Young Road so that they can get there easily."She said she was the one who got the Lady Young Road paved and the leaking pipelines fixed by writing to WASA about them."I know that is the major issue with those persons in that area concerning those leaks so that is something we have been working on concerning the Lady Young but as soon as they fix them, they leak again. Maybe the work is not being done properly because I am always writing letters about those leaks," she said.She said the play park in the area falls under the regional corporation and she was the one who got it lit. She said she also took the Sports Company to the area a few weeks ago and was promised assistance in its upgrade.Cox said a number of roads in the constituency including Leon Street, First Caledonia, Never Dirty and Coconut Drive were paved because of representation she made. "So one by one things are getting done. I am not the Minister of Works or the Minister of Sport but I am asking. I am harassing the Minister of Works. As a matter of fact every time I go to the Parliament I hand him a note and he shakes his head because he knows I am coming with a note. I have to ask persons to get the job done, what I am sure of is that I am making representation on their behalf and things are happening in the area, little by little," she said.