Falmouth mayor warns of operation to restore public order in filthy town
Illegal vending takes place in the historic Water Square in Falmouth.

FALMOUTH, Trelawny — Mayor of Falmouth and chairman of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, (TMC) Councillor C Junior Gager has warned that the municipality is soon to embark on a massive operation to restore public order in the historic town which, he says, is overwhelmed by illegal street vending and unsanitary practices.

Speaking at the Mayor's Forum at the Falmouth town hall last week, Gager stated that the municipal corporation will be partnering with the police and other agencies to restore a semblance of order in the town.

He stressed his disenchantment over complaints that sections of the town reel from the stench of urine as a result of the refusal of some residents to use the public sanitary facility.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I am asking you to cooperate with us so that we can build a clean town. I want to say to those of you who are using the light posts for urinating, or any corner for urinating, we will be looking out for you because we can't afford to have people walking about and come to the office and say 'Mr Mayor, the town renk.' It's too bad man; use the bathroom facility. We have a public sanitary convenience down there. We have a bathroom facility on the compound here [municipal corporation building] outside on the verandah that can be used," he expressed.

Uncollected garbage on a section of Market Street in Falmouth.

"...And if any of you fall in difficulty and you come to my office I would say come and use my bathroom because I understand that nature calls. But ladies and gentleman, we can't continue like this. We have to have civic pride, and today all I am asking you to do is to have civic pride," he added.

The Falmouth mayor charged that there are also sex workers plying their trade in the town who are contributing to the filthiness in a section the Trelawny parish capital where they operate at nights.

"There are pictures of them [ladies of the night] using the surroundings for bathroom facilities. There are people who I hire to clean up the town who find these garbage bags full of human faeces and they have to clean it up. Sometimes I am sorry for them [workers]," he expressed.

Turning his attention to the illegal vendors, Gager announced that already the municipal corporation has started the serving of warnings to individuals guilty of illegally vending in the town, ahead of the impending operation to remove them.

Mayor of Falmouth, C Junior Gager (left) addresses the Mayor's Forum at the Falmouth town hall in Trelawny last week.The mayor is joined at the head table by (from second left) Janel Ricketts, National Works Agency's community relations officer for Western Region; deputy mayor of Falmouth Donovan White; and Andrew Harrison, chief executive officer at the Trelawny Municipal Corporation. (Photo: Horace Hines)

"We have asked for the support of the police and we will be serving notices before we start taking up the goods that are illegally peddled on the streets," Gager stressed.

He reflected that recently, one vendor who sells meals from a cart was found with cooking oil that had been reused for over a week.

"Some of you don't know what you are eating, you know. There was a disruption with a man on a cart that was cooking with the oil and that oil served him a week. And when it throw away, I saw it with my own eyes, I have pictures of it too, the cockroach that were running out was not one and two you know, it was hundreds," he contended, adding that "after they [vendors] stopped selling, some dispose of ashes from coal pots at the root of flowers planted in Water Square in the town."

Acting commander of the Trelawny Police Division, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Winston Milton used the forum to call for the residents' cooperation.

A section of the audience in attendance at the Mayor's Forum at the Falmouth town hall last week (Photo: Horace Hines)

"I implore, in the interest of ensuring that we build a safe and secure township, that you partner with all of the relevant stakeholders and, of course, that includes the police," DSP Milton appealed.

"I listened to concerns that were raised by the mayor and there were policing problems in a lot of them that were highlighted. In order to be effective in what we do, we need an effective partnership with all our stakeholders and this includes our government agencies and non-government agencies. And if you had listened keenly to what the mayor said earlier, you would have recognised that too. In order to improve the situation here in the township we will also have to ensure that we make a solid partnership."

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

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