City says no again to vending on Regent St
Vacant lot owner willing to make 5,000 sq.ft available
October 14, 2000
The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has referred to the Municipal District Council's Act in response to an unsigned press release purportedly issued by ousted Regent Street vendors which said they would resume their business today.
On September 30, approximately 300 vendors were removed from Regent Street following the dismissal of an injunction, which they had obtained against City Hall. The injunction, which had prevented the M&CC from removing the vendors was discharged by Justice Carl Singh on September 29.
According to the unsigned press release, headed Regent Street Vendors Association, the sellers had decided to return to Regent Street to ply their trade from today. "We shall pursue our business as itinerant vendors and will undertake not to encumber the pavements, the entrances of businesses and to ensure that the sanitary conditions of our surroundings leave nothing to be desired." The release said they would do this in accordance with the law.
The release urged the public to see the issue not merely in a legal context but to also understand the socio-economic dimension as the disruption of the vendors' activities would cause economic hardships.
However, the M&CC's release issued in response quoted Part 1, Section 9 of the City Government By-laws, under the Municipal and District Councils Act Chapter 28:01: "It shall not be lawful for any person to carry on a pavement or foot-path any receptacle containing fish or greasy articles, or any bundle of wood, or other article likely to incommode any other person in using a pavement or foot-path, nor shall it be lawful for any person to ride or lead any animal or ride or wheel a bicycle or drive a vehicle or push any hand-truck, wheel-barrow or other vehicle other than a perambulator containing a child along a pavement or a foot-path or throw any dirty water or other fluid, fruit skins, seeds or other refuse on a pavement or footpath."
And section 10 (1): "No person shall leave, place or store, or cause to be left, placed or stored any vehicle, cart, dray, barrel, box, dust bin, tree trunk, branch, limb, or any other thing upon any street, parapet, pavement or foot-path, or in any other way encumber any street, parapet, or pavement with any vehicle, cart, dray, barrel, box, dust-bin or other thing."
The M&CC said the fine for encumbering was $10,000 on the first day and $2,500 for each day the offence continued.
The M&CC also noted that since the meeting with the vendors, which was facilitated by President Bharrat Jagdeo, several things had been done. It said that a letter was sent to the President requesting government's intervention and assistance in the preparation of Merriman's Mall. Council said its workforce had also cleared the area with a view to relocating the vendors.
In addition, the M&CC said, discussions were held between Minister Shaik Baksh and Deputy Mayor Robert Williams yesterday and a procedure worked out to accommodate vendors on Orange Walk and Bourda Street. The council said it had had discussions with the owner of a vacant lot in the commercial area and the owner was willing to make available 5,000 square feet for vending.
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