Not our poles

Opposition defies request by power company

The Opposition Barbados Labour (BLP) is the first out the blocks to defy a direct request from Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) not to plaster any posters on its utility poles.

Raising safety concerns as it usually does in the lead up to a political campaign, the utility company said in a December 21 letter sent to all political parties down to contest the upcoming general election that they should “refrain from placing promotional items on Light & Power poles”.

Barbados TODAY found several BLP posters fastened to the poles using staples when our team visited the St Philip West constituency today.

The company did not say if or what action it would take against those who defied its request.

However, with the country gearing up for what has been described by Democratic Labour Party stalwart Derek Alleyne as the “election of all elections” by the middle of this year, BL&P said: “We are reaching out to all political parties before the next election season to ask that campaigners refrain from placing promotional items on Light and Power poles.

“Placing cloth, posters and signs on our poles pose a danger to our linemen and contractors. It is for this reason that over the years, we have consistently appealed to Barbadians to desist from the practice,” the letter signed by BL&P’s Manager of Communications and Government Relations Jackie Marshall-Clarke said.

She further cautioned that “if the spurs used to climb the poles come into contact with staples or nails, it could result in a serious fall and/or injury.

“In addition, some pole identification numbers are obscured by the posters and in the event of an emergency, Light & Power crews need to be able to identify these pole numbers.”

The letter went on to inform the political parties that permission from the Chief Town Planner was required in order to place signs, posters or billboards “in this manner, in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act CAP 240”.

However, one senior member of the Town & Country Planning Department today clarified that permission was only needed from the Chief Town Planner for the erection of independent signs and billboards, but not for posters to be placed on utility poles.

“If it is a sign it has to come through us, but in terms of posters, that is not under our jurisdiction . . . if anyone wants to put up a sing or billboard then permission is required from the Chief Town Planner,” the officer, who requested anonymity, said.

He further explained that if signs were being put “on someone’s property” then it was up to the owner of the property to grant permission or ask for them to be removed.

Leading up to the 2013 general election BL&P had also sent out a similar letter to the main political parties asking them not to put posters and billboards on the utility poles, again citing safety concerns.

However, that has not stopped campaigners over the years from engaging in the practice.

Acknowledging this, and defending the party’s decision to erect brightly coloured posters of its candidates with the headline, ‘Ready to Serve’, on poles across the island, BLP General Secretary Dr Jerome Walcott told Barbados TODAY it had become virtually standard for all political organizations to place posters on utility poles during a campaign season.

“So I don’t understand what the furore is about. Within the next couple of weeks there is going to be a political campaign in Barbados and I am sure you are going to see hundreds of posters across Barbados on utility poles,” Walcott said.

However, with the BL&P citing safety concerns, the BLP was careful to use clear adhesive tape to affix many of its posters, and had avoided the identification numbers on the utility poles, Dr Walcott said.

“In terms of the posters I was at pains to purchase, on behalf of the party, about 12 boxes of adhesive tapes to use specifically for these,” he assured even though Barbados TODAY found several BLP posters fastened to the poles using staples when our team visited the St Philip West constituency, which is being contested by entertainer turned politician John King, earlier today.

“In terms of safety they [BL&P] are concerned about staples and steel tip boots. That is what I gathered and that is why I said we purchased 12 boxes of heavy duty transparent tapes to avoid that,” the general secretary insisted, while promising to double check the St Philip West posters.

In the meantime, General Secretary of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) George Pilgrim confirmed that he was in receipt of the BL&P letter.

However, he offered no criticism of the BLP’s poster campaign, while only stating that “we acknowledge receipt of the letter and we dispatched a note to the Barbados Light & Power requesting a meeting to seek clarity on matter”.

marlonmadden@barbadostoday.bb

19 Responses to Not our poles

  1. Joe Blow January 3, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Here goes the BLP blatantly disregarding authority, disrespecting other peoples property, and using light and power company property without permission. They are in fact disrespecting the workers whose lives they are putting at risk by putting up posters on all these poles in clear violation of a light and power request not to do so. They are vying for government, while breaking the law and disrespecting workers and other people’s property already. Just a clear sign of what kind of Government we can expect from them, more of the same kind or arrogance and disregard that the current administration shows now. No difference between red and blue. Let us wait and see if the DLP likewise ignores light and power as well and does the same thing. There should be a fine of $1000.00 per day per poster for placing posters on light and Power poles without consent. Then our electricity bills could get reduced at election time.

    Reply
    • David Brathwaite January 4, 2018 at 8:22 am

      Joe, you name just suits you.

      This is a common practice that has going on from time immemorial by all political parties and has become part of our culture, not only here in Barbados, but across the Caribbean.

      Contrast this with 2008, when the Dems put up unauthorized billboards that had never been part of our political culture, and then said that by the time the authorities go around to it, the election would be gone.

      I think if the BL&P don’t want posters on their poles, especially mounted with nails and staples, then that wish should be respected. But if we are going to make public comments on anything, it is required that we be fair and balanced.

      Reply
    • harry turnover January 4, 2018 at 9:07 am

      Joe,you is a REAL big head IDIOT…the DLP ALSO broke the Law when A poster of a DLP candidate was TORN DOWN from a BL&P pole lately.
      Both the BLP and the DLP were therefore blatantly disregarding authority, disrespecting other peoples property, and using light and power company property without permission. They are in fact disrespecting the workers whose lives they are putting at risk by putting up posters on all these poles in clear violation of a light and power request not to do so.
      You in see that the Secretary of YOUR PARTY has offered no criticism of the BLP’s poster campaign.
      Who therefore is YOU other than a Paling Cock keeping a lot of noise…you want people to recognize you or wha ?

      Man ,go and wash ya face will ya…ya FIDIOT

      Reply
  2. straight talk January 3, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    Foolishness, garbage, want something to talk about? talk bout BL&P ripoff people of this country for years and still doing it.

    Reply
  3. straight talk January 3, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    When last you see a BL&P worker climbing a pole?

    Reply
    • Belfast January 4, 2018 at 8:35 pm

      Do you follow the BL&P crews 24 hours a day, all around the island , and in places where their trucks cannot go?

      Reply
  4. John Everatt January 4, 2018 at 4:26 am

    Last election the aftermath of garbage on the poles was disgraceful. The banners from both parties littered the country from north to south. Nobody from either party cleaned up the mess and it stood like that for well over a year making the country look like a garbage dump. I agree with light and power. You should not deface the country with political banners because you never clean up you mess.

    Reply
    • Belfast January 4, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      Skippa you talking about garbage on a utility pole? Try looking down, Lowe down.

      Reply
  5. Sheron Inniss January 4, 2018 at 6:48 am

    HE HAW HE HAW HE HAW. U see why Bim is the way it is. One two many “this is what we normally do” does not make it right. And he want the right to help lead this country. STEUPSE

    Reply
  6. petra January 4, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Please respect their wishes. Just distribute the posters or mail them. it could be dangerous to the workers. B L P don’t foul up over posters. we waiting on you to save us

    Reply
  7. harry turnover January 4, 2018 at 8:58 am

    George Pilgrim says that previously the BL and P had contacted them on the SAME issue and that is NOT to place banners with staples on their poles…but they went ahead and PLACE THEM with STAPLES ANYWAY.
    This year Esther Byer-Suckoos’ poster or banner was torn down ,but is still saying that he wants CLARIFICATION on the SAME directive that was issued 10 years ago…lord have mercy !!

    Reply
  8. Ras January 4, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Oh Lord the Sodomites gone wild already
    If them fly in God face who is the BL and P that them can’t disregard them.

    Reply
  9. Carson C Cadogan January 4, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    I cant understand why some people are shocked by this behavior of the Barbados Labour Party.

    There is nothing that is beneath the Barbados Labour Party.

    Reply
    • harry turnover January 4, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      The DLP doing the SAME thing and I in shocked by your comment either,
      C C C what was Byer -Suckoo sticker or banner torn down from ?…you in hear bout that ?

      Reply
  10. Patrick A King January 4, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    I see John King’s face up the pole….well that’s as far as he will get in trying to defeat the sitting MP for St. Philip West. The opposition promised the country a slate of qualified candidates, but when I reviewed them, I see a lot left to be desired. How the hell John get in there. SMH.

    Reply
  11. sticks and stones January 4, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Also those who made comments to the effect that parties should adopt a strategy of focusing on matters pertaining to the economy are out of step with the realities of environmental issues and their negative impact on economies

    Reply
  12. Belfast January 4, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Imminent losers making mountains out of molehills, or should that be Making deep oceans out of potholes.

    Reply
  13. Belfast January 4, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Between election campaigns, there are all kinds of Fetes, Dances , Brams, Sunday School and other promotional posters erected on poles. We are also seeing an influx of privately placed business direction signs, most of which are stapled.

    Reply
  14. Tony Waterman January 6, 2018 at 4:26 am

    All the BL&P has to do is to hire people and pay them according to the amount of Posters they bring in.they own the Poles and can Legally forbid ANYONE from Stapling Posters to them.
    then there is the possibiloity of Linesmen being injured by these Staples, which Should lead to a Lawsuit if this happens.
    This is clear and simple BULLYING by the BLP. and Mia Mottley should show some Leadership and stop this in it’s Tracks.

    Reply

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