M&CC moving to regularise street vending in Georgetown
Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine announced that the Mayor and City Council will be regularising all street vending activities in Georgetown, Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).
He made this announcement on Thursday during a meeting held at the forecourt of the City Hall, themed “Keeping vending neat, clean and organised”.
Narine explained that the implementation of the regularisation policy will ensure that street vending was done in an organised and uniform manner.
“You will come and register at the Mayor and City Council. You will have a vendors’ ID card and you will be given a spot [that’s] numbered and your ID will carry that number,” he detailed.
In addition, he urged vendors to adhere to the existing laws and regulations that are in place.
Echoing the Mayor’s sentiments for proper documentation, Head of the Public Health Department of the M&CC, Dr Suzette Reynolds also encouraged vendors to acquire their food handler’s certificate. She noted that the certificate was applicable to all vendors who peel and repackage fruits, sell homemade juices and ultimately, those who sell food.
Dr Reynolds added that the licences were valid for one year and ensured vendors and workers were fit to handle food. She explained that acquiring this licence would save vendors from being served notices.
Mayor Narine added that the Council was working on a standardised receipt to issue to vendors after they pay their user fee in an effort to develop a more standardised and accountable system.
Meanwhile, highlighting the issues that the Council currently faced with the street vendors, Senior Supervisor of tax within the M&CC, Kurt Clarke explained that issues ranged from payment of user fees to poor environmental hygiene.
He detailed that “what we have discovered over a number of years, with revenue staff and vendors alike, there is always an issue of payment. There have been numerous complaints coming in from not only vendors but also revenue staff”.
Additionally, he explained, “What is observed also is the untidiness of our environment. You find vendors are giving persons garbage even to bring outside of the fences here and offload it into our drains. Even between Hincks Street and Avenue of the Republic, you stand there in the nights and you will observe persons are dumping and urinating.”
He noted that with the dumping of the garbage, main drains and even the sewerage system become clogged.
“I observe on numerous occasions that people with disabilities cannot use the pave, they have to walk on the road. You need to control the spaces you use; we notice people are regularly extending without the permission of the Council,” he further explained.
Clarke warned vendors about erecting unauthorised structures on the pavement and along the roadways. He urged vendors that they should remove their belongings after the end of vending daily.
Ultimately, he urged vendors to cooperate with the Council and to work with them to remedy the existing issues. Further, Clarke pleaded for a productive year with fewer confrontations between the vendors and the City Council. (G15)