Key city meeting today on court ruling against vendors
City Council Round-Up
By Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
May 19, 2003

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Mayor Hamilton Green, anxious to comply with an Appeal Court order against the vendors on Water Street, with the concurrence of councillors, has arranged a meeting for this afternoon at 2 0'clock in the council chamber at City Hall.

Representatives of civil society have been invited as well as all councillors. The 'chief citizen' told last Monday's statutory meeting that the council must be careful in dealing with this issue so as not to give the impression that it is flouting the court's decision.

In its ruling against an appeal by some 50 water street vendors the court ordered that they and others should do business from 7 am to 6 pm on business days. At 6 pm the vendors must remove their stalls and structures from the pavement. The Town Clerk Beulah Williams has recommended that the vendors be given a grace period of one month in order for the council to get its act together... that is mobilising the constabulary and the City Engineer's department.

It is hoped that at this afternoon's discussions a workable plan would be arrived at thus averting a chaotic situation when the municipality enforces the order of the Appeal Court.

City Hall is yet to come up with a workable plan for the vending phenomenon in the capital. The vendors have bluntly refused to occupy stalls at the Stelling View market complaining about the lack of basic facilities including electricity. Promises to improve the infrastructure around the market were not kept.

The pavement sellers had also refused to be relocated on the Merriman Mall which stretches from Cummings to Light streets. This area is now being used by the street people, and as a playground.

The councillors who sit around the horseshoe-shaped table now have an opportunity to show taxpayers whether they are up to the task of bringing some sort of order and decency to Water Street which was once the main centre for business and commerce in Georgetown.

Ownership proven
At long last City Hall says it has irrefutable proof of its ownership of the area by the seawall where the Luckhoo swimming pool was constructed, several years ago. A document was circulated to councillors last Monday which shows that the pool is owned by the city council and in keeping with an Act of Parliament in 1993 there was an exchange of portions of land between the National Sports Commission and the council. Although the Act provides for the exchange of the two portions of land, argues City Hall, the exact location and area were not surveyed and defined on a plan.

The Town Clerk has asked the council to approve the necessary cadastral surveys "and to have the transport for, and on behalf of the council, the land upon which the Luckhoo swimming pool is situated..." The transport is to be passed to the National Sports Commission for that portion of Le Repentir situated east of the cemetery to Mandela Avenue and between Princes street and the eastern prolongation of Sussex street.

During his recent visit to China, the development of the area where the swimming pool was once sited was raised and assistance sought from the Chinese. But according to Mayor Green these discussions had to be put on hold because objections were raised by the Guyana government over ownership. The mayor contends that the government had been misinformed.

An angry exchange
The debate at last Monday's statutory meeting on the fiasco involving the city constabulary at the wreath-laying ceremony to begin Critchlow week in the compound of the Public Buildings sparked a heated verbal exchange between two councillors from the Good and Green Guyana, and the People's National Congress Reform... PNC/R.

It all started when the GGG's Patricia Chase-Green after listening to the contributions from the PNC/R's Ranwell Jordan, a former mayor, interjected... "I am in sympathy with councillor Jordan..."

The PNC/R councillor shot back... "I do not need your sympathy ..." and he continued... "if she has a problem with me... we need to address this outside of the chamber..." The argument then centred on the intricacies of the performance of the military while on parade... with councillor Jordan reminding the meeting that for years he led a paramilitary group, not only nationally but also internationally...

When called upon to apologise, councillor Chase-Green refused adding... "if he wants to go outside let's go... just name the time and place..."

This is yet another warning to Mayor Green and his 'hard working' band of city 'fathers' and 'mothers' not forgetting the 'over worked' senior officers of the council. The rains are here... why during the dry season were drains not dug throughout the city... along streets and roadways?


What about repairs to some of the streets in Queenstown especially parts of Laluni street... the trenches are getting deeper and wider...


Thanks for the street lights...

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