Denbigh Show must go on, says Mike Henry
This year's show must go on, according to Lester 'Mike' Henry, member of parliament for Central Clarendon, in which the Denbigh Show Ground, site of the annual agricultural, industrial and food show, is slated to be held from August 5-7.
"I immediately had to step in because Denbigh is too important, in this economic downtime that we have right now, to allow it not to happen,' he told The Gleaner in response to yesterday's lead story, which detailed some public health concerns that need to be remedied if the show is to go on as planned by organisers, the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS).
"Unless something changes dramatically, we'll have no choice but to close it down," Chief Medical Officer Dr Winston De La Haye warned.
Yesterday's planned meeting between public health inspectors from the Clarendon Health Department and the JAS executive to devise a work plan to remedy the situation has been pushed back to next Tuesday. When questioned about the postponement, Donovan Stanberry, permanent secretary in the agriculture ministry, told The Gleaner that was a matter for the JAS, which organises the annual show. However, efforts to get a response from Norman Grant, president of the JAS, proved futile as calls to his phone went to voicemail and he did not respond to our messages up to press time.
Henry to tackle issues
However, Henry is insisting that the show must go on.
"Right now, it's important to ensure that the show goes on. I am going to find out what are the health issues that need to be addressed to make sure that this year's show goes on," he declared.
"It's too important an issue to the everyday little vendor for me to have it not happen because we didn't adhere to any health [regulations]. Now, if the health problem is whether you wear a hat when you cook on the corner, then they can't hold Denbigh Show Ground alone responsible for that or use it as threat to the country," added the member of parliament.