Vending rules relaxed downtown
Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
LIONEL 'DUNSTAN' Whittingham, president of the Jamaica Higglers, Vendors and Marketers Association, has sent a strong message to vendors that he will not be supporting any form of indiscipline on the streets during the Christmas season.
The Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) yesterday revealed at a press briefing that, starting today, until January 3, 2015, the vending rules in the general downtown business district will be relaxed, which will see vendors being able to sell along the sidewalk. This will also include no-vending areas. Vendors, however, will not be allowed to sell from handcarts or vehicles. Neither will they be allowed to block the roadways.
Whittingham, who was speaking at the press briefing at the KSAC's offices in downtown Kingston, said he was in full support of the rules and regulations outlined by the authorities and, as such, vendors who are found in breach should face the consequences.
"If you don't plan to abide by the rules, do not call on Dunstan because there will be no demonstration led by me," he declared.
"We have relaxed the vending areas a bit to facilitate the influx of persons who are depending on the extra sale during the season, but there is no 'leggo' of the streets. We must endorse the stipulations, and those who do not comply will be feeling the full strength of the law," he asserted.
Whittingham added: "Stop disrespecting authority and let us all work together in ensuring that everyone can enjoy the season in peace and order."
Mayor of Kingston Angela Brown Burke warned that the rules would be enforced, adding that order must be maintained.
"Others have given up, but we will not be giving up. Persons may be sceptical as to whether or not there will be changes, but I can reassure persons that the rules will be enforced, and the difference this year, in comparison to other years, is that vendors will not be getting back their goods. Watch us over the next couple of weeks," the mayor declared.
"We have received total commitment from the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) and the level of discussion and analysis that has taken place over the past couple days have been good, and so I am very confident that our objectives can be achieved. We want to stress also that this should not be seen as some sort of dictatorship measure. Our heart is in this, and the overall aim is to improve the conditions of downtown Kingston," she declared.
Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, who is in charge of the West Kingston Police Division, said the police would be out in their numbers to ensure that citizens are safe.
"We will be policing the downtown district from early in the morning until evening, and this strategy reviewed every afternoon, and so if there is need for change, these changes will be implemented," he said.
"We have an obligation to clear the roadways and intersections, and anyone who disobeys will be dealt with from a police standpoint. Once we all cooperate, I am confident that we will have a positive outcome, but we will not be tolerating any form of indiscipline," he insisted.