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Jun 27, 2017

CitCo not to blame for proposal to change Carnival route

The annual carnival road march is at least three months away and there is already controversy brewing as a result of a proposal to reroute the parade from the Princess Margaret Drive.  News Five understands that the KHMH Authority has petitioned for the National September Celebrations Commission to consider redirecting the traditional procession away from the hospital because of traffic congestion and inaccessibility.  We are told that there is a plan to have the parade commence at the Baron Bliss Lighthouse, proceed along the Marine Parade and then culminate at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, avoiding the hospital altogether.  That plan does not sit well with several of the carnival bands and there has been much chatter on social media objecting to the proposed course.  That blame is being placed squarely at the feet of Mayor Darrell Bradley, who told us earlier today that not only is City Hall not involved in that decision-making process, but the council only holds a single seat on the commission.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

Darrell Bradley

“I want to first say that that is not a decision that the city council makes.  The city council, to the extent that we are involved, we are involved because we sit as a member of the National September Celebrations Committee and so we of course would be consulted on those kinds of decisions.  We would give our voice and we would be one of the persons who would offer a recommendation finally for that to be approved by those in the central government who would make that decision.  Having said that, the reason why this proposal has emanated is because there has been a recognized risk that for at least two hours during the carnival celebration the hospital is inaccessible, so that that naturally presents a risk.  There have been evidence in the form of instances where, during the carnival people wanted to access the hospital and they could not.  There was a specific report which was given where somebody had to be given quite serious medical attention in the parking lot across from the carnival because they couldn‘t pass the carnival route during the period of the carnival.  So that this is something that has been discussed.  I know it has been discussed at the city council itself because, again, it is a proposal and we would give our views in relation to it, but there would be something which would be finally decided at the end of having a very widespread consultation with all those persons who are involved, including people who are participants and organizers of the carnival.  But the reason for that alteration or the proposal in altering the route is to allow there to be access to the hospital at all times which everybody recognizes that that’s a good reason.”

 

The proposal, according to Mayor Bradley, was to have been discussed at today’s cabinet meeting in Belmopan.

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