City continues moving stalls near Bourda market, Alexander St

Stabroek News
October 2, 2000

The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) yesterday continued removing vendors' stalls in the vicinity of the Bourda Market and Alexander Street, Lacytown while Regent Street remained completely free of the stalls except for a few newspaper vendors who plied their trade undisturbed.

The M&CC is targeting the vendors along Robb Street and containers parked on the city's reserves and pavements as it moves to bring some order to Georgetown.

The removal of vendors and dismantling of stalls along Regent Street early Saturday morning was in accordance with a decision of the High Court made last week. Regent Street accounts for more than 300 pavement vendors.

A top source at the M&CC yesterday told Stabroek News that the Georgetown municipality would like to move against the Water Street vendors but it is still barred from doing so by the injunction issued by the court against it on the application of a vendor. That injunction is due to come up before Chief Justice Desiree Bernard this week. If the decision is in favour of the M&CC, the city constables will move to rid Water Street of the encumbrances.

The source also told this newspaper that while the M&CC would like to move immediately to confiscate containers, it could not do so because the action has to be gazetted and this has not been done as yet. Nevertheless it has plans to do so shortly.

Saturday's move against the Regent Street vendors did not go down well with them as they picketed City Hall and marched up Regent Street before taking their protest to Freedom House, headquarters of the People's Progressive Party.

Yesterday, a handful of them were in the vicinity of the Bourda Market voicing their opinions to whoever would listen.

Asked why the vendors were not given prior notice of the city's actions, the source said that in 1995 they were given notice and instantly moved to the courts for an injunction against the city council and secured it. When the City Council tried to negotiate with the vendors they refused to seek the withdrawal of the injunction, he said.

Asked whether the City Council will be willing to meet with the vendors to find alternative accommodation for them, the source said that while the injunction was in effect the Mayor and City Council met with the Regent Street Vendors Committee to try to iron out the problems but the vendors failed to sign an agreement for a cleansing fee and for certain standards for stalls. As such the discussions fell through, the injunction was not withdrawn by the vendors and it took its course in the courts.

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