Seasonal vending has officially been halted by the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown which has instructed the start of an intense campaign to ward-off all vending activities on the city pavements.
The municipal body in an effort to be lenient to vendors has for a number of years been allowing vending on the pavement during the Christmas season, the last season being no exception.
However, Public Relations Officer, Royston King, said yesterday that even before vendors were granted permission to vend on the pavement they were warned to conduct their business without obstruction to any place of business or blockage to public thoroughfares.
It was in recognition of the fact that the vending activities persisted even after the Christmas holiday and in some instances some vendors and even business owners sought to erect immobile structures on the city pavements, that the campaign was engaged last week.
Yesterday the pavement in the vicinity of Robb Street and Avenue of the Republic was the target for City Constabulary Officers who were forced to dismantle structures that were illegally erected to facilitate vending activities.
According to King, personnel from the City Engineer’s Department have been mandated to aid the process of removal of any and all fixed structures that constitute illegal vending activities based on the guidance of the ranks of the City Constabulary.
King revealed, too, that the council is seeking cooperation from both vendors and citizens in its efforts to monitor the vending activities and by extension maintain some semblance of order in the city.
Roadside vending is an illegal act, a notion that the Georgetown municipality has been trying to emphasise over the years.
City Mayor Hamilton Green has repeatedly asserted that efforts are usually made during the Christmas season to restrict the vending activities rather than prevent it. He pointed out that although earnest attempts are continually being made to clear the city streets and pavements of congestion created by vending, the council has not been able to fully achieve its objectives.
“People are always vending on the streets and on the pavement…We are even finding now that the business owners are also coming out…In fact, they (business owners) have even bigger displays than the regular pavement vendors,” municipal officials have opined. However, it has been pointed out by Deputy Mayor Robert Williams that vending on city pavements during the Christmas season must not be mistaken for a lapse by City Hall to enforce the city by-laws.
Williams said that the vending situation must not be interpreted to mean a release of the authority of the municipality but noted that it was allowed in keeping with the circumstances of the day.
“The environment in which we live requires that we relax on the enforcement during the Christmas season.”
However, he added that the vendors are always warned to ensure that they do not block the entrances to business places, that they provide passage for citizens to use the pavement and that their (the vendors) surrounding was not an impediment to the drainage network of the city.
During the recent Christmas holidays the officers of the City Constabulary were out, though in modest numbers, attempting to monitor the vending situation.
The work of the constabulary, as a result, was to regulate vendors and ensure that the pavements were not completely taken over by vending activities.
The intent then, Chief Constable Andrew Foo had revealed, was to ensure that additional vending operations did not overwhelm the city pavements.
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