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National consultation on vending to be held

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Persons with a “vested interest” in resolving the issue of vending in Kingstown will have the opportunity to air their concerns at a national consultation hosted by the Ministry of Transport, Works, Urban Development and Local Government.{{more}}

The consultation is scheduled for Tuesday, September 11 at 10 a.m., at the Victoria Park.

Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis, permanent secretary Hudson Nedd, and warden of the Kingstown Town Board Cecil Williams will address the audience.

Just about three weeks ago, Francis called for a national discussion on how vending in Kingstown should be addressed. His call came days after prominent businessman O.A. “Ken” Boyea wrote to the Kingstown Town Board, complaining about the situation outside his business place at the corner of Melville and Grenville Streets.

Francis, told SEARCHLIGHT in a recent interview, that while the Grenville Street sidewalk has become “a nightmare”, he would act after discussions with vendors.

“All vendors have their sympathizers, and the sympathizers are very important elements in the society. They will complain about the sidewalk vending, but the minute you move them, you have an outcry from a lot of people,” Francis said.

He said he wanted all stakeholders to be involved.

“Tell me, are you happy with the sidewalk vending? Is it comfortable for you? Do you buy from them, or do you want them off the street into a place where we can have it controlled?”

Francis said that whenever vendors are to be moved, they are first invited to a meeting and he personally explains what is to happen. He said he usually explains that although the vendors have rights, the business people also have rights.

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