I am on your side, but follow the rules
-Mayor tells vendors

Stabroek News
June 22, 2003

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Mayor Hamilton Green says he stands ready to assist the Water St vendors, especially the women, but is not prepared to compromise on indiscipline, lawlessness and disorder.

The Mayor’s statement came after the Mayor and City Council recently started to enforce an Appeal Court order for street vendors to clear from the streets by 6:00 pm.

In a statement last week, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) stated that when Green took office in 1994 he had recognised that the issue of street vending could not be ignored.

The statement quoted Green in his inaugural address as saying, “The vendor issue is not a simple move them out, charge them rent, lick them down, matter. It is a phenomenon, which we should try to understand.”

The statement went over the various initiatives the M&CC has taken over the years to engage with and regularise street vendors. This included a December 1994 proposal for what was referred to as “Plan of Action to solve the Vendors Issue.”

The decision taken at that meeting was that a special vendors’ committee be established to identity suitable areas for vending, to register street vendors and propose the design for stalls or kiosks for street vending.

The M&CC noted that since 1994, the M&CC had maintained a constant dialogue with street vendors.

At various meetings, the Mayor and vendors agreed on a menu of measures, the statement said. These were that the vendors should keep their surroundings clean and tidy, conduct their activities in a manner that would enhance the appearance of the city and not detract from its beauty. It was agreed they should not block the entrances and exits of shops and other legitimate business places and they should not encumber or block the pavements, thoroughfares, corners, intersections and other walkways, so as to prevent or deny citizens the use of these public facilities.

Also the vendors agreed that they would monitor the situation so as not to allow additional persons to vend in the areas in which they operated, because since 1995, the numbers were considered sufficient.

The statement referred to the council’s attempts to acquire the Guyana Stores Bond to relieve the congestion.

The M&CC said that on the Mayor’s recent visit to China, he had explored the possibility of the Chinese supplying collapsible kiosks to be used by vendors in designated areas in the city.

It is clear, the council said, that some vendors had complied with the recent court order, the most notable of them being the group that operated on Water Street west of the Museum.

But the Council said that some vendors continued to be bold in breaking the law and hurting the city with their environmentally unfriendly behaviour, which had contributed to the defacing of the traffic islands in Water Street.

Additionally, during the clean-up exercise on Water Street a “rapacious myriapod bit one of the council’s workers and was greeted by an army of cockroaches, which suggests some insanitary practices on the part of some who operate in that section of the city,” the M&CC statement added.

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