NWA wants vendors removed
Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU: THE NATIONAL Works Agency (NWA) wants the St James Parish Council to remove a number of vendors from the area above Montego Bay's south gully, which the agency says is hampering its ability to effectively clean the area.
Gerald Lee, the council's secretary manager, told last Thursday's monthly sitting of the council that over the past eight years, the NWA has been unable to properly assess how much cleaning the south gully will require. He said the problem has been exacerbated by the presence of the vendors in the area.
"The NWA has written to us, and they have outlined the problems they are having with respect to the maintenance of the lower south gully," said Lee. "This type of maintenance has not been undertaken for the last eight years, largely due to the inability of officers of the NWA to inspect the lower section to determine the level of cleaning, (and) this is especially a result of the presence of vendors on top of the channel."
parish council's involvement
"I understand that the parish council was integrally involved in the arrangement that was made with the vendors, and so we suggest that this issue should be taken on board by the council, not only due to the issue of maintenance by the NWA, but also because of the inherent health concerns that this arrangement presents to the citizens of St James," added Lee. "What they (NWA) want us to do is to intervene, even by way of getting rid of these vendors from on top of the drain, so they can have access."
Councillor for the Rose Hall division, Jason Cummings, took issue with the NWA's request that the matter be addressed solely by the parish council.
"I thought the NWA would want to enter into a partnership with the council, instead of saying that they would give us the total responsibility (to remove the vendors). It would be better if they had written to us to say that they are willing to partner with us," Cummings complained.
In response, deputy mayor of Montego Bay, Michael Troupe, recommended that an assessment be done of how many vendors currently ply their wares in the area near the drain, so that appropriate action can be taken.
"We do not have space to relocate them (vendors) ... so my advice is that you go into the area and advise us of the way forward. My advice is that they (NWA) give us an estimate of how many vendors will be affected," said Troupe.