Where there’s a will, there’s a vendor

- Regent St still busy with hucksters
Stabroek News
September 3, 2003

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It has been over two years since the Mayor & City Council was granted an injunction to remove the vendors off Regent Street, but a walk yesterday showed some vendors had found ways to continue selling there.

With school reopening more vendors were seen on the pavement last weekend, even though in most access they were not blocking the pavement since some are given the opportunity to sell in front of stores on Regent Street.

Owners said having the vendors nearby led customers into their store while others said that they did not have a problem with the vendors once they did not block the door way. Vendors were reluctant to say anything as they were afraid that going public the city council would move against them.

In some cases the vendors were observed selling the same items as in the stores but at a cheaper price. However, in other instances a customer could find an item cheaper indoors.

Contacted yesterday, Mayor Hamilton Green said that while he had not given permission for vendors to sell in front of the stores on the request of the owners, he had observed that there were some store owners who did not mind having the vendors in front of their businesses .

He pointed out that they could not tell “a man what to do with his show window” adding that once the vendors did not block the pavement the council really had no problem.

Some vendors, not selling in front of the stores, still found ways to sell without blocking the pavement.

But Green, in his weekly mayoral report, said the council was confronted with another problem, whereby vendors chose to return to the streets despite a venue at Water St being made available for them.

He pointed out that the council had an obligation to protect the interests of citizens.

The report stated that pedestrians should be allowed to use the pavements freely. “The vendors have a right to make a livelihood, but not at the expense of civic society. I want to make this pellucidly clear that when the pavement was constructed, its original; purpose was not to accommodate vending..”

He added that the Municipal and District Councils Act, Article 10 stated that, “No person shall have placed store or cause to be left place stored any vehicle cart, tray barrel, hose, dust bin, tree trunk limb or other thing upon any street pavement or footpath or in any way encumber any street parapet or pavement with any vehicle, dray cart, barrel, box, dust bin or other thing.”

The mayor appealed to all vendors who were given spots on the Toolsie Persaud plot to occupy them immediately as the municipality would be forced to take action against them.

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