Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley has labelled the National Crop Over Consultation a success.

In an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service following his appearance at the consultation, which was broadcast live on CBC TV 8???s The People???s Business programme on Sunday night, Mr. Lashley said the event brought together ???very interesting ideas and suggestions???.

???I thought the feedback was great??? The ideas will be looked at by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) to ensure that Crop Over will continue to grow,??? he assured.

Special legislation for the Crop Over festival was debated at length, and Mr. Lashley noted that a proposal for such legislation had in fact already been presented to a subcommittee of Cabinet.

The introduction of special Crop Over permits for vendors, and the designation of special areas as ???Crop Over Zones??? were also discussed. ???I would certainly like to see Spring Garden move into being a 24-hour zone, particularly in the final week of the festival,??? the Culture Minister suggested.

Mr. Lashley was of the view that the National Crop Over Consultation set the tone for future consultations to be televised. He also highlighted the importance of having more private sector involvement in the festival, as there were some entities that continuously provided support, and others who benefited financially but did not contribute to the festival ???in any meaningful way???.

Hosted by CBC presenter, Belle Holder, the consultation had as its guests Chief Executive Officer of the NCF, Cranston Browne; band leader Chetwyn Stuart; and Festival MC and Crop Over stalwart, Mac Fingall.

Its aim was to engage with various Crop Over stakeholders, as well as to get an idea of the public???s opinion of Crop Over; its operation, impact, and the areas needed to be improved. Viewers were given the opportunity to call in, email and instant message questions and comments.

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