Mayor Green continues outcry at vendors' displacement

Kaieteur News
March 21, 2007

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The removal of vendors from the Stabroek Market Square is still engaging the attention of City Mayor Hamilton Green, who believes that this issue is rooted in other underlying factors.

The Mayor at a recent press conference criticised moves to have the displaced vendors occupy the dilapidated Toolsie Persaud Mall, regarding it as “utter nonsense and a charade”.

According to Green, the Council has for many years been trying to address this bugbear issue while bearing in mind that people still have to make a living.

“Those who want to intervene and mediate at this point must recognise that the vendors issue cannot be solved unless we look at the macro plan for Georgetown . But nobody wants to do that,” the Mayor opined.

In expressing immense disgust at the situation, Green recounted that at a recent press conference called by the Town Clerk, Ms Beulah Williams, in her own right, “I made the point that the vendors' issue has to be seen in the context of a report which we have.”

He explained that the report, which was created with the intention of bringing some level of order to the city, details a developmental plan in the context of an economic profile of which the city is a part. The Mayor further revealed that he was enlightened that at a special meeting of City Councillors, after due consideration, it was decided that if the vendors observed certain rules of probity, they should be allowed to continue vending.

“To me a market is a place for hustle and bustle but order,” Green asserted.

He stressed that the vendors had been eagerly trying to adhere to the laws of the city by even demonstrating their willingness to dress in uniforms to conduct their business.

The Mayor pointed out that while there are laws governing the operations of the city there are those who are trying to use the law to their advantage.

“Those very people who are trying to apply the law to have the vendors removed are also trying to place new vendors around the Bourda and Stabroek markets,” Green related.

Vendors who had for years plied their trade at the Stabroek Market square were some months ago asked to move in order to facilitate resurfacing of the roadway.

But upon returning they were prevented from operating by City Constables, under the instruction of the Town Clerk.

The vendors have since moved to the High Court in retaliation, in addition to staging protest actions outside City Hall.

At a subsequent council meeting, a unanimous vote defeated the Town Clerk's effort to have the vendors removed. However, the vendors' return has not yet materialised and according to the Town Clerk, many persons have since complimented the current appearance of the Stabroek Market square.

She emphasised that while the vendors may be reluctant to use the mall, there is ample space there. It is a location the vendors have utterly refused to use.

Several vendors have since started to sell along the city pavements, another forbidden act, while some have begun using vehicles and other mobile means to display their merchandise.