Nov 25, 2013 News
Even as the capital city continues to be plagued by illegal vending, Mayor Hamilton Greene maintains that the Council has always attempted to uphold order in the streets of Georgetown.
Speaking with this newspaper recently, Mayor Greene reaffirmed that the issue is a complex one.
“I have always attempted to eradicate illegal vending and bring some form of order. However, my fundamental position is that in 1999 the government failed to implement the recommendations made by Professor Akbar Khan under the Georgetown Development Plan, which is intended to relieve congestion in the city. Lands that were supposed to be used for the purposes of vending and car parks under the plan had been sold by the government.”
“This issue is complex in that it requires more than just removal of these vendors as it affects their social and economic welfare. There are a lot of single mothers on the streets trying to earn an honest living. These people need an alternative space to ply their trade.” Greene added.
At an earlier press conference, Town Clerk (Ag) Carol Ann Sooba criticized the actions of the Mayor in handling the issue of illegal vending.
“There is evidence whereby City Constabulary ranks were out in the city trying to enforce the laws and the Mayor appeared on the scene and instructed the irate vendors that they should not remove. Officers trying to do work but then we have Mayor Greene and some of the Councilors obstructing the efforts.”
Selling along the pavements in Georgetown had become a tradition for illegal vendors. At present, vendors are positioning themselves in passages alongside stores and in some instances almost in alleyways.
There have been reports that the illegal vendors are granted permission by store owners to operate in the constricted spaces and there are others who position themselves much to the displeasure of the legal businesses.
Concerns have been particularly raised by the Fire Chief in regards to, vending in “very narrow spaces.”
He emphasized the fact, that due to the new vending strategy, there is now no separation between buildings in some sections of Georgetown.
The Mayor and City Council have repeatedly warned against the hazards of illegal vending.
Several discussions were held by the Council to find an alternative solution to the illegal practice.
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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