City Councillors rebuff Mayor's roadside vending proposal
Guyana Chronicle
April 8, 2002

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GEORGETOWN Mayor Hamilton Green's proposal to set up a committee to bring order to roadside vending in certain parts of the city has not found favour with City Councillors.

At a recent statutory meeting, the Chief Citizen told the council his proposal will include technical personnel as part of a long-term structural arrangement for the city.

He felt this initiative would be worthwhile since the final stage of the Greater Georgetown Development Plan (GDDP) was near completion.

Green argued that if the council had the resources it would "fast track and clear street vending" which has been a longstanding problem.

As a result, the time has come to "revise the suggestions which came up years ago", he offered.

The Mayor further suggested that with the committee in place, the council would identify spots for vendors, allowing them to sell under strict conditions.

"Not only will it (this procedure) bring order, but we will be able to collect fees", he argued.

Green added that persons have taken up selling positions at the courts, hospitals, and singled out a particular vendor at the corner of Charlotte and King Streets who has expanded.

He told the councillors that they must accept vending which has become a "fact of life" and an economic livelihood.

But councillors vehemently objected to the proposal, stating that the vendors will be encouraged to remain on the streets and some pavements.

People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Councillor, Mr. Rocky Mann argued that there are some vendors who have remained on city pavements for years and feel it is their duty to do so.

He made specific reference to a business operating at the former BWIA head office at Robb and Hinck Streets, which he said has extended on to the pavement.

"These things are encouraged by statements you (Mayor Green) make", he charged.

Another councillor, Mrs. Patricia Chase-Green, enquiring about the effectiveness of the committee proposed by the Mayor, declared that City Constables who are assigned to ensure vending does not take place, are often seen conversing with the sellers, standing idly by while vendors continue to sell in restricted areas.

She suggested that to control vending, the sellers should be allocated lots in open spaces, such as the Merriman's Mall.

Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Robert Williams indicated that arrangements are in place for the allocation of spots for vendors at the Toolsie Persaud Limited (TPL) plot which will be ready this month.

"What is important is to assist the committee to sort (out) the TPL land allocation (process)", he contended. (STACEY DAVIDSON)