Seawall vendors to be allowed to continue vending, but with removable/mobile units

Seawall vendors to be allowed to continue vending, but with removable/mobile units

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill made it clear today that while vending will be allowed along the Georgetown Seawall, there will be no room for lawlessness to be tolerated, as he reaffirmed that all fixed structures, including containers and sheds will be removed.

“The law is the law. So, I am making it very clear, vending will continue on the seawall, lawlessness will not continue. Vending will continue, lawlessness will not continue…So, let me tell you what is the next step from here, all the permanent structures will be removed. I am asking you to first of all secure your personal items because we will remove the permanent structures. Once it cannot be moved on wheels, its permanent,” Minister Edghill said during a meeting today with vendors, who ply their trade along the seawall. 

The Public Works Minister clarified that while vending will be permitted, it must be done in keeping with the conditions outlined by the Sea and River Defence Board. 

“Every person, who have received permission from the Sea and River Defence Board to vend on the Kitty Seawall will continue to vend. Any misinformation that the government was removing vendors is a clear mischief making. What we are doing is to ensure that everybody who got a license, your license told you or your letter of permit told you the conditions under which you must vend and those conditions must be upheld. And what are those conditions, no permanent structures. Number two, your vending space should be no more than 100 square feet; number three, you should be 15ft away from the edge of the road,” Minister Edghill explained. 

He said contrary to the agreed conditions, many vendors operating between Camp Street and Vlissengen Road have erected permanent structures in breach of the contract signed onto with the Sea and River Defence Board. 

“We have removed more than 20 pit latrines from this seawall. Secondly, people have gone beyond what their license told them, they are putting down concrete structures, containers on bases, and all we are saying, we want you to vend, you will continue to vend, because every person who wrote the Sea and River Defence Board with an application to vend, that permission was granted to you and it stated all the conditions, and you said yes to those conditions. So, we are simply saying let’s get back to those conditions,” Minister Edghill told the vendors. 

However, some vendors told the Public Works Minister that the conditions, as outlined in the contract, are not fair. But Minister Edghill reminded those vendors that upon signing the contract, they willingly agreed to those conditions. 

“If you get a permit that says 10×10, mobile, you must clean up after, and you don’t want that, don’t vend. But if you are going to comply with it, stay and vend. There is no two ways about it. You can’t take a permit that says temporary, no permanent structure and then try to gain public sympathy by saying you borrowed $40M from a bank to put down something. No bank will lend you $40M on a permit on a temporary structure on a reverse. All we need to do, is to get in line with what your permit says,” Minister Edghill said. 

Ahead of the meeting with Minister Edghill, a number of vendors shared their frustration with the media, accusing the Ministry of Public Works and the Sea and River Defence Board of constantly shifting the goal post. 

The demolition and removal of permanent structures including containers, prefab structures and sheds was expected to start today.

Food caravans with wheels or axles to facilitate their easy removal, are considered mobile and will be allowed to remain in place.

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