New jubilee parade route… change aimed at accommodating children floatsThe recent announcement by the National Commemoration Committee that it would be shifting the initial starting point for the Jubilee Float Parade was to facilitate the children’s float parade despite there being obvious disadvantages in doing so.Noting that there would indeed be inconveniences as it relates to patrons having an opportunity to view the floats as they move east along Brickdam, Minister within the Education Ministry, Nicolette Henry, affirmed that the main concern of the Government was to cater to the participating children.Henry was at the time speaking at a news conference on Tuesday morning, where she justified the changing of the route of the parade just two days before the event.When the question was asked of the Minister how patrons would be able to view the parade since there were limited spots along the route, Henry said the Ministry was aware of this setback, but at this point in time the main concern was creating a “child friendly route”.“In terms of being advantageous or disadvantageous, it depends on how you look at it. For us, it is advantageous as it would allowMinister within the Education Ministry, Nicolette Henry and event coordinator Lennox Canterbury at the news conference on Tuesday morningparticularly our young people to cover a route that is child friendly,” she explained.Ten children floats which had participated in the Mash Children Parade are set to take to the streets again on Thursday. Another 27 bands have enlisted to be part of the grand float parade.Even though the Ministry had a target of 50 floats, Henry clarified that 27 agencies and Ministries have enlisted, but some are featuring more than one band.In addition, 70 vendors have registered to ply their trade along the parade route after the announcement was made by the Committee that vending would only be allowed on the condition that all stalls are listed.Underlining another factor that had stimulated the decision to have the route altered, Henry explained that the Stabroek Market Square has the requirements to be the assembly point but it had not always been vacant.Since the decision was made to have the vendors relocated and given the spaciousness of the Square, all efforts were made to capture the golden opportunity.The area surrounding the Market Square is the central hub of transportation, so Henry assured that mechanisms are in place to have traffic congestion reduced and where necessary, roads closed off.The Minister informed that the traffic department of the Police Force would be on board in directing the traffic on that day, which “is a great opportunity for them to exhibit their skills and capabilities”.The first float is set to leave the Market Square at 10:00h on Thursday, while the last float is to leave D’Urban Park at 17:30h the latest.The Ministry also took the time to reiterate the changes as it relates to the sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) on Independence Day.Henry reminded that certain roads would be closed off to facilitate the float parade so candidates are required to arrive at their schools and indicated centres before the parade begins.
Aston Villa have endured a terrible start to the season – but Andy Gray believes that could be a GOOD thing for his old club.After last season’s relegation from the Premier League, a change in owner and manager has yet to bring about a change in fortunes.The Midlands side lost their opening Championship game to Sheffield Wednesday and they were humbled by League Two outfit Luton Town in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night.But Gray insists Villa fans shouldn’t be too downhearted, as he feels Roberto Di Matteo’s side can learn valuable lessons from their early struggles.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former Holte End favourite said: “If there was any player at that club that thought that dropping down a league and then attempting to come back with new staff and a new coach would be easy, Roberto Di Matteo has got all the evidence he needs to drop it in front of them and say: ‘you’ve got to work as hard as you’ve ever worked in your life’.“I often think if you start as bad as that, then there is only one place you can go and that is up. “It’s not the worst thing in the world to start the season the way they’ve done, as long as the players and coaching staff learn from it.“Confidence is so important and they were absolutely shot last season and I never ever thought they would turn up in that league and start winning football matches.“It would be too arrogant and too easy to say that and I think they have had a very cold shower in the opening four days of this league.”