Mobay mayor expects full cooperation from vendors when new regulations take effect on October 1Monday, September 27, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — As the October 1 deadline looms for the implementation of new street vending regulations in sections of downtown Montego Bay, the city's mayor, Councillor Leeroy Williams, says he is anticipating the full cooperation of vendors.
He says this is part of measures aimed at restoring public order in the city.
Williams says his optimism is based on the response received from meetings held with the vendors, and their support of a three-day pre-registration blitz held recently.
“The relationship between the St James Municipal Corporation and the vendors has had its ups and downs. However, I believe that a new day is dawning between the St James Municipal Corporation and vendors as there was a great spirit of cooperation from them during a number of recently held meetings, as well as a three-day pre-registration blitz which was held. At that pre-registration blitz, hundreds of vendors came out and voluntarily gave their information to be duly registered in order to trade in designated vending areas across sections of the city,” he said.
The mayor pointed out that even with a high level of cooperation from these vendors, there are still some who have not complied with the regulation of getting registered.
“Vendors can be seen all over St James Street. Vendors with items of clothes strung on storefronts. Hand carts are seen loaded with ground provisions, and several food vendors, including jerk pan vendors with smoke billowing from their operations in all areas, making the historic Montego Bay Cultural Centre barely visible and leaving ash and grease which discolour the cobblestones. Pedestrians barely have access to the sidewalk, causing them to be competing with motor vehicles. This is an untidy situation,” Williams said.
He added that this move to regulate vending in downtown Montego Bay is not aimed at depriving those involved of a livelihood, but is aimed at bringing back some semblance of law and order to the city.
“I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not opposed to vending. However, I do believe it can be done in a more orderly and structured way,'' Williams said.
He again noted the designated and approved vending areas for downtown Montego Bay which are Church Lane; lower Market Street; Long Lane; Orange Street; lower Lawrence Lane; North Lane; Top St Claver's Avenue (in front Of Hilo Supermarket); and Corner Lane (conditional vending).
Williams remains adamant that St James Street remains a strict no-vending area, a position which he said will be maintained going forward.
He said by October 1, all should be in place for a full roll-out of the new regulations with vendors having their colour-coded ID cards as well as being given instructions as to their vending location.
“I am confident that by Friday, October 1, all registered vendors should have their colour-coded identification cards which will include where they should vend. Hand cart vendors with ground provisions must confine themselves to the Market district. There will be lines of demarcation in the approved vending areas to indicate the space for each vendor and 'no-parking signs will be erected in order not to have motor vehicles parked along approved vending streets.”
Williams says vendors who fail to comply with the rules face the risk of having their goods seized, being prosecuted and having their ID cards and vendor's permit revoked.