Better late than never Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
February 20, 2007

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THE area in front of the landmark and historic Stabroek Market is undergoing something of a sea change after the chaos that has reigned for years.

And with tomorrow set as the deadline by the Mayor and City Council for the vendors in the square to move, sweeping changes were under way yesterday, reflected, for example, in our page one photo.

That would be a strange sight for many who have always known the square as a place of almost utter confusion.

The City Council ultimatum, as expected, immediately triggered an outcry with some of those affected claiming they were not told of the decision and others stating the notice is too short.

Change does not come easy and there would be resistance to the clearing campaign.

Town Clerk, Ms. Beulah Williams explained that the action was decided because Stabroek Market is a heritage site and the situation with the stalls is “not pleasing to the eye.”

“We just can’t continue with vending there,” she declared, pointing out that the selling at that location causes serious congestion.

And Assistant City Engineer, Mr. Lloyd Alleyne said that while responding to a fire, last week, a tender from the nearby Fire Service base took more than seven minutes to get through the crowded area.

Disorder has long been the order of the day in that part of the city and the municipal and other authorities would have their job cut out to bring a new dispensation there.

“Better late than never” was the response yesterday from Ms. Williams when asked why vendors were only now being asked to move.

While most would welcome the changes under way at that location, and while, according to Ms. Williams, the municipality does not have the responsibility of relocating those who would be displaced, it would be laudatory if those in a position to do so, could help deserving cases.

The claims and counter claims would continue to fly as the clearing programme takes effect but what is needed more than anything else, is an understanding of the bigger picture of Guyana putting up a better face for Cricket World Cup and other major events just around the corner.

The country is getting ready to welcome thousands of visitors and a prime a spot as the Stabroek Market had to get a badly needed facelift – just in time, it seems.