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Time to move vendors off streets – Francis

Time to move vendors off streets – Francis

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The time has come for all 385 persons who vend in Kingstown to be taken off the streets and sidewalks of the capital and put in “more comfortable” surroundings.

This view was expressed by Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis on Tuesday, April 18, as he spoke on his weekly programme on Star Radio.

“I think the time has come where we have to move vendors off the streets and put them in comfortable surroundings. But you can’t do it all at one time, so you do it in stages,” Francis said, adding that the authorities have the name of almost every vendor in Kingstown.

Giving a breakdown of the location of the vendors, Francis said on Back Street there are 28, Bay Street – 99, Bedford Street – 100, between Grenville Street and Hillsborough Street – five, Melville Street – 14, Middle Street – 39, South River Road – 10 and Little Tokyo – 90.

Of the 385 vendors, 46 sell clothing, cosmetics and shoes; nine sell craft and jewelry; two sell dry goods; 14 egg and bread vendors; 38 – household items; 19 – music, movies, books and phone cards; 12 – prepared food; 131 – fruit and vegetables; and 114 – snacks and beverages.

Francis questioned if Kingstown should be left in its current state, even though the Government is being cursed about its unsightly state.

The Minister noted that he is currently considering which vendors to move, where to move them to, which area to tackle first and in terms of cleaning up the city, which area is the worst.

He said discussions on the removal of vendors will soon begin.

“If you don’t take vending off the streets, you will never move vending off the streets. If you leave 10, 12, 15 or 20 on the streets, it is going to go to 60, 70 and 75,” he stated.

The Minister said the Government is looking to relocate some of the vendors to the old meat market and the temporary vegetable market.

He said at present, the old meat market is only occupied by three butchers.

“We link the temporary vegetable market, with the temporary meat market. There is an open space where there is one shop occupied and a little store room occupied. Take those out, clean them up and put down cover there. Pave the floor, prepare proper bathroom facilities there and you have space for more than 385 vendors off the streets of Kingstown,” Francis said.

The Minister also said Government is also considering the building on upper Bay Street, where the Customs and Excise Department used to be located.

This, however, would not be done in the short term.

He said when one location is repaired, vendors from one section of the city would be moved.

“So, we will move a section of the city as these areas are done. So when you finish repairing one area, we move a section and eventually get to point where we have moved vending off the sidewalks and streets of Kingstown,” the Minister said.

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