|Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley (FP)|
Residents and stakeholders within Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison will be further sensitised about the significance of the UNESCO inscription.
This promise has come from Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, who said his Ministry had made significant efforts to sensitise them and stressed that additional initiatives would be introduced by the Public Relations Sub-Committee of the Barbados World Heritage Committee.
"We are mindful of the fact that residents and property owners are two of the very critical groups we need to sensitise in relation to the inscription of our World Heritage Property…?? We have a role to ensure persons don’t get the wrong message regarding how we should continue to function, and how property owners and residents live and function within the site," Mr. Lashley stated.
He made the comments today during a press conference at the West Wing of Parliament to announce the official inscription ceremony which will be held on Wednesday, June 13, at the Garrison Savannah, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
The Minister stressed that the owners of buildings within the World Heritage Property would be required to adhere to current criteria as set out by the Town and Country Planning Development Act. "As part of that plan to reach out to property owners, the Town and Country Planning Development Office would have gone through the process of amending the list of property owners within Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison; and through the Chamber of Commerce efforts have been made to target business owners. This process will continue," he gave the assurance.
He added that the Division of Culture and Sports was in the process of compiling information packages for the property owners. He also stated that plans were being made for the hosting of a series of other meetings soon with business owners, residents and property owners.
Meanwhile Deputy Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Culture, Celia Toppin, lamented that reaching out to the various stakeholders in the area was not an easy task because there were about several thousand individuals there.
She expressed the view that the residents should participate in upcoming tours so they could better understand the history of the site. "We have to ask the residents and the stakeholders within the site not to take a passive line because we are reaching out. We want you to respond, so that we can educate you in this regard… People have certain pre-conceived notions about restrictions once we are a World Heritage Site, so we want to reassure people that these restrictions are not threatening things as some would have us believe," she surmised.