Sunday, April 14, 2024

Posters on poles ‘part of culture’


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Putting posters on electrical poles is part of the election culture of Barbados. So said general secretary of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), Jerome Walcott, in defending his party’s action of putting posters on the poles of the Barbados Light & Power as part of campaigning for next month’s General Election.

Walcott was speaking at the party’s first press briefing to launch their Campaign Lift-Off on Saturday, May 5, at Weymouth, St Michael, and today’s picnic at East Coast in a wide-ranging question and answer session.

Some of the topics touched were same-sex marriage, abolition of fees for university students, repeal of the National Social Responsibility Levy, and payment for health care.

It was only four months ago that questions were raised about posters on poles when the BLP was quick out of the blocks in anticipation of the election bell being rung by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, an act that he did on Thursday.

Walcott, in responding to a question about the number of BLP posters now on poles, said all parties had the same policy in relation to putting posters on Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) poles.

“Once the elections are called we utilise posters. It’s the tradition of Barbados, it is the culture in Barbados, it is endemic in Caribbean countries and we do it. We acknowledge that we use tape, recognising the concerns of the Light & Power in terms of staples and metal. But I will also add the Light & Power uses buckets and I don’t know when you last saw someone climbing a Light & Power’s pole. 

He said he was not challenging a directive of the BL&P.

“I reiterate that elections are being called and all political parties are going to do it.” 

A 2013 statement from the power company said it was again raising concern about signs and posters on its poles.

Corporate communications administrator Jackie Marshall-Clarke said: “We acknowledge that it is a General Election period, but we are asking party supporters to refrain from placing posters and other signs on the utility poles. If this has already been done, please remove the staples and nails when the posters are removed.

“It is a matter of safety for us. The staples and nails pose a serious danger to our linesmen when they have to climb the poles.”

In accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act CAP 240, permission from the Chief Town Planner is required in order to place posters or billboards in this manner.

However, Walcott said the posters were attached by tape. (JS)


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