PM Receives Petition From Disabled Community

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Government is working assiduously to bring the amended Road Traffic Act to Parliament shortly.

This disclosure came today from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as members of the Barbados Council For The Disabled, headed by its President, Maria Holder-Small, were received by him in an audience at Government Headquarters.

Ms. Holder-Small handed over to the Prime Minister a petition with 12,436 signatures opposing illegal parking in spaces assigned to the disabled community.

The other persons present included Public Relations Officer, Errol Hurley; Member, Lionel Smith; Volunteer, Atiba Aluko; Office Manager at the Council, Roseanna Tudor; Interpreter for the Deaf, Bonnie Leonce; President of the Kiwani???s Pride of Barbados, Dawn Jackman; and Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister???s Office, Sonja Welch.

Mr. Stuart said: ???The Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Lashley, has indicated to me and also to the Cabinet that we are nearly there in bringing the legislation, and we should have it before Parliament very shortly. I will this morning communicate to the Cabinet your concerns and in the very near future you will hear from us regarding this legislative matter.???

The Prime Minister pointed out that successive Governments had worked on modifying the legislation and when they thought they had it right, other issues came up which needed to be addressed in the Road Traffic Act amendments. ???There has been no insensitivity on the part of Government, we are just trying to get all the issues right,??? he stressed.

He observed that over the past 50 years huge strides had been made in sensitising people to the needs of persons with disabilities and in developing respect for their rights.

He, however, noted that there was a need to further intensify efforts to sensitise people about the rights and needs of the disabled community.??Mr. Stuart urged the Council to continue its ???great work??? and sensitise people to the multiple concerns of the community.

Ms. Holder-Small thanked the Prime Minister for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with the group, saying that members of the community sometimes feel they were forgotten. She explained that the petition was launched last December and many kind-hearted, caring Barbadians supported the initiative.

She said the community wanted Government to amend the Road Traffic Act to stop the indiscriminate parking by persons in spaces allocated for persons with disabilities.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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