Chairman of Pan Trinbago, Tobago region, Salisha James, said on Wednesday that it has arrived at an agreed amount for the Carnival allocation for pan following discussions with officials of the Tobago Festivals Commission (TFC). She declined to say what was the allocation but said she was ‘comfortable’ with the amount.
James told Newsday Tobago that Pan Trinbago, Tobago and the TFC has been engaged in discussions over the allocation since December 2018 and following postponement of a meeting on Monday between officials of both entities, the matter was finally settled on Tuesday.
She contended there was no wrangling between the Tobago region and the TFC.
“We do have differences in opinion but ‘wrangle’ we do not. On Tuesday 5th February, I was accommodated by Mr (George) Leacock (TFC Chairman ) to have an impromptu meeting with him, which resulted in me spending over two hours at the Commission’s office, working with members of staff finalising Pan Trinbago’s 2019 budget to present to the Chief Secretary for final approval,” she said.
James said that the Tobago region was aware that the role of the TFC to manage public funding to interest groups for festivals and likewise, the TFC was aware of the role the pan body plays in representing member bands and has been working directly with the Executive of Pan Trinbago.
“Pan Trinbago, Tobago region and its membership are not oblivious to the current economic climate of our country and have been working assiduously with the TFC to make the suggested 2019 budget work to achieve a successful Carnival in Tobago,” she said.
On Monday, sources told Newsday Tobago that officials of the pan body and the TFC had been locked in talks over the past few weeks on the amount of the allocation with reports being that Leacock had offered a 12 percent cut to the 2018 budget of $1.4 million.