City Hall not prepared to ask for extension of temporary location for vendors

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By Mark Murray

The Georgetown Municipality has taken a decision to scatter vendors back onto the city streets as the body is not prepared to ask for an extension of its agreement with the owner of a plot of land at the corners of Hadfield and Lombard Streets where the vendors were located up until Saturday, January 07, 2017.

News Room spoke to some of the Stabroek market vendors on Monday (January 09, 2016) who are accusing the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of not having a real plan when it comes to standardising their trade.

Many of the vendors are back on the paves in central Georgetown as others squeeze into a location that was once known as the “Dredge shop” after the building was demolished by the council.

“I does sell food, I does sell in the night but at least I concern as a vendor because it’s something nah you alone is everybody so yah got to concern” one Vendor said.

Another vendor called on the M&CC to “do something better than this for us because we are suffering a lot and there is still more people that is coming in, not going out, they don’t have no place better to put us, their saying that they gonna put us somewhere at the back, I don’t know behind the fire station properly on the wharf we don’t know.”

“You have children to take care of, to send to school, you have food to find, passage to find and that is on a day to day basis, so what I’m saying to the Mayor and City Council if they can do something better for us” a single parent urged.

On the other hand, one woman told News Room that “it is very nice, very good, it is nice to come back pun the road cause yah could see business picking up.”

Meanwhile, Town Clerk Royston King told News Room that the Council is not prepared to ask for an extension of the temporary location after the lease would have expired December 31 last year.

He said the land had to be returned to the owner, leaving City Hall with the option of letting the vendors return to previous locations around the busy Stabroek area.

“We are not in a position to begin construction of the various facilities, we have had to put up and suggested and as a result of that we will have to allow the vendors to use our spaces following strict security and sanitation rules and conditions,” he said.

According to King, the Council was not required to pay for the plot of land where the vendors were temporarily located since May last year. As such, he said City Hall remains thankful for the assistance by the businessman.

The Town Clerk also told News Room come January 20 all vendors will have to be registered with the council before generating a specific ID card and number for such persons.

He is also encouraging the vendors to be mindful of their operation and try not to block businesses more so commercial banks since their operations could be suspended.

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