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Woodbrook residents against new mas route
Woodbrook residents are objecting to four large Carnival bands’ plan to parade through several streets en route to the Jean Pierre Complex, Port-of-Spain, this Carnival season. The complex will be transformed into “the Socadrome,” the venue for the country’s newest Carnival Parade of the Bands showplace on Carnival Tuesday.
But the residents met with Port-of-Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee on Tuesday night to voice their concern about the plan, and also raised several other concerns ahead of the “onslaught” of the Carnival season. Approximately 60 residents met with Tim Kee and members of the City Corporation, Public Health Department, City Engineering Department and the Police Service at Eshe’s Learning Centre, Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook.
The residents said Carnival activities should stay in Port-of-Spain and not be brought into their community. Residents not in favour of the route being used by the bands have also started a petition they hope will get the full support of the community. At the meeting there was an open forum where the residents stated their grievances. Gregory Lyndsey said residents were not consulted over the route changes made by the bands.
“There was no consultation heard. Some 48,000 people will pass here. There are senior citizens here and people with babies. I am a revolutionary and I can’t promise we ain’t burning tyres for the two days,” Lyndsey said. He added: “It is four of the largest bands. They will have to use an alternative route. When it is midnight it is total bedlam. People who making the policy not living in Woodbrook.” Cynthia Piper, who has been living on Petra Street since 1938, said various organisations were now segregating Carnival.
“Isn’t Carnival a national celebration? How they could celebrate it and not have others there?” Piper said there was also a problem with visitors parking their vehicles in front their properties and the wreckers. “You can’t park in front of your gate, even at funerals or to serve our God on a Saturday and Sunday because you getting towed,” she said. Tim Kee said he was unable to assist the residents who had problems with the bands using Woodbrook as a route.
He said: “The corporation has no right to routes or routes used for Carnival. While I sympathise or empathise with you ... we have no control over where the bands pass. “That is the law and it falls under National Security or NCC.” He also said that the National Carnival Bands Association was not in favour of Kiddies Carnival festivities being conducted at Adam Smith Square either.
Tim Kee said other matters raised, including drainage problems, traffic issues, vending and vagrancy, will be addressed as long as there is a budget to assist in dealing with the situation.