City Hall out to reclaim city property and transform Georgetown

Georgetown City Hall out to reclaim city property

May 3, 2016 | By – dismantles Brassonic’s illegal shed, removes Stabroek Market pavement vendors

The dust has hardly settled after the massive cleaning at the Stabroek Market Square yesterday; but Town Clerk Royston King marches on with his clean-up of Georgetown streets.
M&CC workers dismantling Brassonic’s illicit shed.

M&CC workers dismantling Brassonic’s illicit shed.

Recently, citizens of Georgetown, time and again have heard King saying that he is out to restore Georgetown to its former beauty and to a state of cleanliness Guyanese haven’t seen for decades.

Yesterday King was on hand to oversee the cleaning and removal of illegal structures along Water and Longden Streets.

He stated that prior to yesterday’s exercise, all vendors and commuters were given notice on Sunday that there would be cleaning and removal of any illegal structures or stalls from the pavements and City Hall properties.  

He noted that most of the vendors were cooperating and that he was “pleased and happy with the cooperation we have been afforded by the vendors and businesses.”

Kaieteur News understands that 80-odd vendors are scheduled to move into the site behind Parliament building, a move that has been delayed in the aftermath of Stabroek Square’s cleaning exercise.
The Town Clerk said that the site has to be properly prepared; lights and sanitary facilities put in place, the grounds filled so as to prevent flooding and repairs made to certain sections of the fence.

The structures to be dismantled in front of the Vendors’ Arcade.

Structures to be dismantled in front of the Vendors’ Arcade.

He added that City Hall wants to ensure maximum comfort and safety for vendors when they take up their new accommodations.
As was previously reported, security will be provided by the presence of City Constabulary ranks and absolutely no illicit activities or wrongdoings will be tolerated on the premises.

King added that contrary to what some members of the media and the Guyanese public at large have been saying; he is not going after the “small persons” or the man on the street trying to earn a dollar, but that anyone found breaching city laws and regulations, big or small will have to face the consequences, whether it be the biggest business in Georgetown or just a simple fruit vendor.

The owners of Brassonic’s had a shed that was illegally built onto the pavement which was subsequently dismantled during yesterday’s exercise, King said that they (Brassonic’s) had been notified and were fully aware of the consequences that followed.

This, he continued, is proof that there is no victimization or discrimination being meted out.
This newspaper understands that the clothing and shoe vendors plying their trade on Water Street immediately in front of the vendors arcade as well as the fruit and vegetable sellers in front of Bounty Supermarket and all those on Longden Street were given notice to move their respective structures the day before City Hall moved to dismantle the illegally placed stalls.

An unprecedented change, Stabroek Market Square in the aftermath of yesterday’s cleaning exercise.

An unprecedented change, Stabroek Market Square now

Some vendors have since asked for a day’s extension on their removal which King has granted.

This extension, as some vendors explained, is for them to remove their stocks; most of the persons that have asked for extensions are those that have built structures that are attached to the old zinc building at the side of the vendors’ arcade.

King stressed that these structures are a haven for criminal elements at nights. Robbers are known to pounce on unsuspecting passersby, especially at nights.

He continued that City Hall will be moving through all marketing municipalities  to rid them of illegal structures and illicit activities, he marked Bourda Market as the next municipality to be dealt with in the near future as vendors have made a habit of encroaching the street area on North Road.

A sore point according to King is that of persons that are often seen loitering and “liming” in market areas, as they are more often than not involved in criminal activities, he stated that in the future City Constabulary ranks will be strictly monitoring the various markets to ensure that there are no loiterers and if persons that have no business are found in the markets; there will be penalties to pay.
“We want to make our markets free of such elements so that people can be safe and free from harassment while shopping, our markets need to compete with the modern supermarkets, we (M&CC) are going to restore this city to a level that is second to none, Georgetown is going to be the top city of the Caribbean.”

Telling words by the City Administrator Royston King as the M&CC continue to clean the streets of Georgetown and piece by piece restore our city to the once “Garden City” pinnacle it embraced.

This recent course of action continues to evoke mixed reactions from the public at large but citizens can only take heart by the state Georgetown’s proverbial heart (Stabroek) is now in; unimaginable before the last few days.

City Hall resolves to transform Georgetown

MAY 4, 2016 | BY | …not put vendors out of business
City Hall’s ongoing efforts to transform the streets and market squares of Georgetown have met with mixed reactions, with the public seemingly divided. Some think that the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is after the vendors that were until Sunday encamped and encroaching the city streets and pavements, while others insist that the clearing and cleaning of the Stabroek Market Square, Water Street and Longden Street is a step in the right direction.

Vending - GeorgetownAs was previously reported by this newspaper, the movement started on Sunday with a clean-up of the Stabroek Market Square which was since extended to Monday, and which saw Water and Longden Streets being cleared of all illicit structures and stalls.

Monday’s exercise was monitored by Town Clerk Royston King who had stated that anyone found guilty of infractions against City Regulations would be dealt with accordingly. The illicit structures along Water and Longden Streets were marked for dismantling, but some vendors had asked for an extension of time for removal of goods and various items. This extension was granted, the stalls were since removed and the area cleared.

Public Relations Officer of M&CC Debra Lewis stated all vendors and businesses in the area were given notice and they had all indicated their willingness to cooperate, but on the day of the exercise; some had complied while others did not.

She further stated that they (M&CC) had cause to remove several mobile stands and stocks of some vendors, which were then taken to City Hall’s compound. She continued that while some vendors collected their stands and stocks, up to yesterday around 17:00 hrs, several persons were yet to uplift their property. Lewis emphasized that persons do not have to pay a removal fee or any fees for that matter, but simply have to identify and uplift their belongings.

In a brief interview with Kaieteur News Lewis stated that M&CC continue to work as quickly as possible to prepare the new location earmarked for the temporary relocation of those displaced vendors. This newspaper understands that in a matter of days the proposed site should be ready for occupancy.

“We ask those displaced to be patient with us (M&CC) as we strive to prepare the new location properly so that you (vendors) can be in a comfortable and secure environment.”
Lewis indicated that as was previously reported, the new location would be equipped with sanitary facilities, proper lighting and around-the-clock security.

A source close to the “Markets Department” stated that an investigation was carried out and it was found that quite a number of persons peddling their wares in the city streets were owners of stalls in the Stabroek Market. This is an issue that Town Clerk Royston King had addressed at a recent meeting with vendors of the Stabroek Market area. King had indicated that if persons were found to be stallholders, they would be sent back to their stalls or as an alternative, have the stalls taken from them and given to someone else that “really needs it”.

“The persons that venture onto the streets and are owners of stalls are greedy,” King had stated. He noted that this was causing overcrowding of the pavements and streets of Georgetown.

Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan and PRO Debra Lewis shared the same sentiment – that vendors should be aware that it is the M&CC’s responsibility to look after the interest and welfare of all citizens of Georgetown and not just be partial to one sector. Lewis had also noted that City Hall is trying to ensure that fair, organized and legitimate vending is carried out throughout the various City Market municipalities.

In an earlier article Deputy Mayor Duncan had stated that ‘’if Georgetown is to achieve international status, change is imperative.’’
“This change has to include reordering, reorganizing, and subsequent beautification, all of which are integral parts of the general transformation of the city.”

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Comments

  • Rooster Bridgelall  On May 4, 2016 at 12:51 am

    This is a good beginning, hope it’ will sustained. Let’s bring back the glory days.

  • demerwater  On May 4, 2016 at 9:05 am

    “…a number of persons peddling their wares in the city streets were owners of stalls in the Stabroek Market.”
    There is another side to this story. Many years ago, myself and my school friend, (Raymond Gaskin, no less!) worked for Mr. J. C. Rampersaud during the Christmas Holidays. He had two big market stands – one a hardware store and the other, a basket shop. People would often complain that the price for the same item was much less on the “Pave”. To this he would reply that he had to pay more in “stand rent” than the pavement vendors had to pay in house rent! We even offered to sell some stuff on the pave. He would have none of it.
    He was a good Christian above all.
    He was also a principled businessman.
    I still marvel at that occasionally.

  • OBSERVER  On May 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Citizens of Georgetown are seeing right before their very eyes that almost magical transformation of our Capital City of Georgetown, being changed from a Garbage City to a clean and healthy Garden City, into what I feel, will become the cleanest city in the Caricom. Bravo to those responsible. Let us make Georgetown greater than it ever was before.

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