Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 3rd 2015 Contents A9
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Table with Stools
Chairman of the Downtown Carnival
Committee Councilor Wendell Stephen
wants authorities to move swiftly if
they want to ban glass bottles for next
year s Carnival.
He said a final decision on such a plan
was the responsibility of Central Gov-
ernment and not the City Corporation.
He was speaking at Downtown Car-
nival Committee prize-giving function
at City Hall, Port-of-Spain, on Wednes-
The proposal was first made by former
Port-of-Spain mayor Louis Lee Sing
who did not get the support from stake-
holders in the manufacturing sector or
During the staging of this year s Car-
nival, former national security min-
ister Gary Griffith spoke of plans
to embrace the idea as an ideal safety
and security mechanism during the
festival for the benefit of masquer-
aders and spectators alike.
"It s a principle that we had no
problem with. It s just the imple-
mentation of it cannot be done just
before the Carnival," Stephen said.
Asked if action of such a plan
should be addressed now with bev-
erage manufacturers as creators of
mas were being rewarded for con-
tributions to the 2015 national fes-
tival, Stephen maintained that such
a decision rests with Central Gov-
He added: "We are going into a
general election. We don t know
how that election will go. There will
most likely be a new minister of
culture and new minister of national
security, things like that so we will
be guided by Central Government
but in principle the mayor and I
support the no (glass) bottle ban.
"However, the challenge would
be to get the manufacturers to make
sure that in that time of the year,
that they do more of the tin (bev-
erages) and so on and we put things
in place. It s a tough one to deal
with, but in principle, we support
it," Stephen said.
Providing an overview of this
year s Downtown Carnival, he said,
it was reputed to be the biggest and
best in many years.
That was made possible, he said,
as a result of a closer working rela-
tionship between National Carnival
Commission (NCC) chairman Lor-
raine Pouchet and her team and the
mayor s office. An immediate benefit
of that working relationship, said
Stephen, was establishing an effec-
tive parade route.
The move, according to Stephen,
benefitted Downtown Carnival as
more bands crossed the stage when
compared with previous years.
"Of course the challenge last year
was with the kiddies mas, which
did not start Downtown. It started
on Ariapita Avenue, much to the
dismay of masqueraders.
"The mayor (this year) stood up
to the NCBA (National Carnival
Bands Association) with the support
of the Rosalind Gabriel and her
group (T&T Carnival Bands Asso-
ciation) and we got that mas restart-
ed Downtown on Carnival Saturday
and it was a tremendous success.
"The children were so happy to
be Downtown. Many more of them
came out this year. The mas was
the most beautiful you would have
experienced," he said.
Speaking on the decision by the
NCC to deny vending in specific
areas in Woodbrook and the Queen s
Park Savannah, which consequently
displaced several vendors, the coun-
cillor said the plan worked.
In Woodbrook, the plan called
for no vending one block before and
after judging venues, while at the
Savannah vendors could not ply
their trade on the eastern side of
Stephen said: "Challenges always
come. The NCC had areas where
there wasn t any vending but we
were able to satisfy them (vendors)
in terms of putting them elsewhere.
Hopefully, next year, we will be able
to free up the route a little more,
because it did work."
Downtown Carnival chairman:
Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee with Junior King Carnival
Rayshawn Forde, left, and Junior Queen Cyan Lue Sue during the
Downtown Carnival committee prize-giving function at City Hall,
Port-of-Spain, on Wednesday evening. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
Move early on glass bottle ban
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