Vendors oppose relocation

Guyana Chronicle
November 27, 2002

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The City Coucil has met opposition with its recent decision to re-locate vendors from Water street in the vicinity of the East coast bus park.

A few weeks ago, the Council moved a group about forty vendors who operated along Water and Commerce Street, in the vicinity of the East Coast bus park, and relocated in the vicinity of the Berbice car park near Avenue of the Republic.

But the move has irked the wrath of some prominent businessmen in the area who have since moved to the courts to seek redress.

The new developments will certainly impede whatever arrangements Georgetown Mayor, Hamilton Green had in place for the festive season.

In a earlier interview, Mayor Green had categorically stated that there will be no special Christmas concessions for persons who wished to vend in some sections of the city.

According to him, the City Council would maintain its position in dealing with persons who are encumbering the pavement, particularly along the Water Street area.

The Mayor said, the vending situation has become very complex because of the difficulties the Council has been experiencing in relocating vendors, adding "We don't intend to allow any more vendors on the street and we do not have any special Christmas concessions".

In observing that there is already evidence of an influx of new sellers, the Mayor Mr.Green said "people keep behaving as though this vending issue is a matter for the City Council...we are at the end of a chain of circumstances which will require a more intense and more multi -faceted approach".

The city Council had hoped that the whole issue regarding the Water Street vendors would have been addressed earlier with the completion of a new vendors arcade at the Toolsie Persaud site in Water Street.

But that project had to be stalled after the owners Toolsie Persaud and the Government could not have agreed on a selling price, and the former subsequently moved to the Courts to halt all works that had started on preparing the plot for the vendors.

The idea of the Toolsie Persaud plot was floated in June 2000, at a specially-convened meeting which President Jagdeo had with the vendors, in a bid to find a solution to the decade-old problem which had times resulted in serious clashes between members of the City Constabulary and the vendors..

The Water Street vendors who have been engaged in a long court battle with the Council and were ordered by the Court to remove from the pavements by June 13, 2000.

They were later granted an extension and it was after this that President Jagdeo met with the sellers and floated the idea.

Since then, City Council has had the unfortunate situation of having other areas which it had earmarked for the Water Street vendors, a section of Merriman Mall , between Cumminngs and Light Street for which $8M was expended, and the abandoned Stelling View Market , also known as `Donkey City’, all shelved.

Since then, the Stelling View Market area has been demolished.

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