Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green has defended the move by City Hall to demolish the popular Dread Shop at the Stabroek Market Square by stating that she knows of no injunction or any other court matter that involves Dread Ship and the City Council.
The Council came under fire from Attorney Nigel Hughes on Thursday after it moved in and demolished the building as part of its clean up campaign in the Stabroek Market area.
Hughes said he was surprised by the Council’s move especially since the matter is before the Appeal’s Court and was only recently transferred to mediation.
But that Court matter may be between the Ministry of Public Works (now Public Infrastructure) and the Dread Shop.
Mayor Chase-Green this morning told News Source that she served on the previous Council and is unaware of any injunction against City Hall or any other court matter. “I am not aware of any injunction being issued against City Hall and its management, or the Town Clerk and owners of the Dread Shop”.
She said the administration at City Hall is doing its work according to the laws that govern the municipality. She said all illegal structures must be removed and the City Council has been giving notices to that effect.
Asked whether the Council supported the action of the Town Clerk in the matter, Ms. Chase-Green explained that the Council does not have to give permission to the Town Clerk in such matters because under the laws that govern the municipality, “the Town Clerk has that right”.
The Mayor said she does not believe that the Town Clerk is going rogue but he is simply working in accordance with the law.
“We are not taking any big stick method to run and breakdown. Persons are being given notices and I am not aware of any injunction being brought against us by that particular entity”, she emphasized.
The Mayor complained that the area where the shop is located had become home to all types of illegalities including striptease and the alleged selling of drugs.
“All types of lawlessness was going on there and at some time we need to put a stop to it”, Chase-Green declared.
The matter had been taken to the Court under the previous government, when the then Ministry of Works had made a move to demolish the same structure. Mr. Hughes said he met with the Town Clerk on Thursday and he confirmed that the action to demolish the business place was the City Council’s action.
“The behaviour represented by the act of destruction here, is very similar to the same conduct that was complained about when Ms. Sooba was the Town Clerk. But the issue is this, How can you breach an order of the Court of Appeal which says that this matter must go to mediation and come and destroy a building in total and complete disrespect and disregard for the Court of Appeal. In effect, what the Town Council is saying by its actions is that they have no regard for the rule of law”, Hughes said.
The Attorney said he has asked the owner of the business to assess all of the damage and his losses as he will be moving to have the government fully compensate him for all that he would have lost.