Sat | Jan 25, 2020

May Pen Market to reopen for Christmas

Published:Friday | December 6, 2019 | 12:41 AM
Vendors turn out for a meeting with municipal authorities to discuss post-fire rehabilitation of the May Pen Market. The shopping venue is expected to temporarily reopen on December 13.
Vendors turn out for a meeting with municipal authorities to discuss post-fire rehabilitation of the May Pen Market. The shopping venue is expected to temporarily reopen on December 13.

Clean-up work on the burnt-out May Pen Market will begin next Sunday, and the shopping space is expected to be sanitised and occupied by December 13.

Municipal authorities in the Clarendon capital have bowed to the will of vendors displaced by a fire that was feared to have left scores of hawkers out of work three weeks before Christmas.

Officials of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation met with the vendors yesterday to arrive at consensus on siting them in various sections of the busy mid-island town. But the vendors fiercely resisted efforts to relocate them, insisting that the market, which was razed to the ground on Sunday afternoon, should be cleaned for use – even temporarily.

In yesterday’s meeting, one woman declared that she was willing to clean up her burnt-out spot herself and erect a concrete structure, preferring that to moving to another designated location in the hoiday shopping season.

“Clean up! Clean up!” the noisy throng chorused.

CEO of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation, Rowhan Blake, May Pen Mayor Winston Maragh, and Central Clarendon Member of Parliament Mike Henry broke from the meeting and huddled as they mulled over Plan B.

After much deliberation, Henry announced to cheers that the municipal corporation would accede to their request.

An estimated value of the clean-up work was not disclosed.

There was more good news for the vendors as a representative from the May Pen branch of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security informed them that it would start processing affected vendors on the approved list certified by the Clarendon Municipal Corporation with a view to offering them cash grants to resume operation. Ninety-four registered vendors have been identified to receive assistance.

Help is being provided through the ministry’s Rehabilitation and Compassionate Grant Programme.

There was even more good news as the mayor revealed that patty tycoon Jukie Chin and his wife would be delivering care packages to those affected.

– Cecelia Campbell-Livingston