(GIS) – At the recently held launch of the Castries Market vendor training programme, Mayor of Castries Mr. Peterson D Francis addressed those in attendance in regards to the City Clean Up Campaign.
Lately, vendors have been speaking out against the way that some of their belongings have been treated by the Castries City Council in the name of the campaign. Mayor Francis explained why certain actions were taken.
“The council has lead bold campaigns in recent times to clean up the city, make it more conducive for business to thrive and for pedestrians to move around safely,” he said. “Throughout our efforts we have always used a very transparent approach and have always consulted with you. I conducted two meetings with the President of the Dry Goods and Craft Market Association to consult on the city clean-up campaign and the redevelopment plan. At those meetings we discussed quite a bit but it was decided and agreed that the many palettes, stalls and concrete stumps left behind daily by vendors pose a serious hazard and should be removed from the city sidewalks; that we would implement a vendors’ registration program to better organise vendors’ operations in the city; and that the Vendors Association President assumes responsibility to convey the decision to his members and further consult with them on the way forward.”
Mayor Francis added that the council was not to blame for any of what had occurred however in acknowledging that the occurrence had been stressful to some vendors he apologized for any damage caused and offered a gesture in return.
“I will use this occasion to apologise to the affect this has had on vendors. We have decided that commencing Monday of next week to Sunday that we will collect no vendor’s fees from you. We have a keen interest in you and what you do and we will continue to press forwards with our programs to improve your profession and to make Castries one of the cleanest and safest cities in the Caribbean.”