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Timeline demanded as vendors decry unsatisfactory conditions

first_imgStabroek Wharf vendorsThe Mayor and City Council’s Statutory Meeting on Monday once again focused on the relocated Stabroek Market Wharf vendors but this time, timelines were requested for when their operational conditions would be bettered.Vendors are complaining of the conditions under which they are required operateChairman of Markets and Public Health, Trichia Richards asked the Council via a motion to prioritise merchants who were relocated to Russell Square, Georgetown (west of the Parliament Buildings). This is after numerous complaints surfaced about their current conditions.The vendors were relocated to this site just over one year ago to facilitate the rehabilitation of the deplorable wharf. Richards insisted that while the Council is plagued with financial limitations, the situation needs to be addressed.“The Council has financial constraints and it’s to that, that we have to prioritise what it is that we would like to do. The vendors are complaining and they have asked us to look into this. The wharf is a threat to them but the current conditions at Russell Square is not pleasing also,” she said.The Chairman, who is also a Councillor, said the motion was the last resort after recommendations were made prior, which yielded no results.“Recommendations were made and forwarded to full Council. That is the action that the Markets and Public Health Committee has taken since last year. It has engaged this new Council and still nothing has been done as it relates to these vendors. We have ventilated all possible ways and we’re now looking here to have this motion, to look specifically at timelines and to prioritise the vendors at Russell Square.”However, Councillor Oscar Clarke argued that the Council could not provide better facilities at that time, since the wharf was declared unsafe and vendors had to be relocated immediately.“Council couldn’t do that because [it] has been unable to get all of the resources that it requires to be able to do the work within a specified time…There was an emergency which precipitated the decision of Council to have them moved. That emergency still exists. That is, the state of the wharf. Because of that, emergency measures had to be taken to try to find a way, find a place to put these vendors,” he persisted.Meanwhile, Councillor Bishram Kuppen insisted that the concerns of these vendors are “paramount and should be looked into as soon as possible”.During the relocation, it was decided by City Hall that the vendors would be responsible for the construction of their new stalls; a project which the Council estimated would cost one vendor approximately $400,000 exclusive of electrical lighting. The wooden stalls were of two specified sizes along with concreted section for restroom facilities. For this move, Route 42 bus drivers who occupied this space were moved to another location.However, ever since the arrival of vendors at this location, complaints have surfaced over the prevalence of vagrants, improper garbage disposal and up until recently, the theft of chain-link fencing which barricaded their stalls. Many of them had complained that the new location was uninviting to customers, resulting in incurred losses.Last month, the Council had informed that although 106 stalls were completed at the former bus park to facilitate the vendors, only 27 of the stalls are occupied.last_img read more