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St. James PC poise to roll out anti-vending campaign

Published:Saturday | June 13, 2015 | 6:00 AMBarrington Flemming

WESTERN BUREAU:

The St James Parish Council is ready to unveil its anti-street vending campaign, but it is waiting for Senior Superintendent of Police Steve McGregor, the commanding officer for the St James Police Division, who has indicated that he wants to be involved in the exercise.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of the St James Parish Council on Thursday, Montego Bay Mayor Glendon Harris said the parish council is ready to tackle the contentious issue.

"The police have asked that they be present when these signs are being installed," said Harris. "The holes to erect the signs are dug and so we are awaiting word from Superintendent McGregor, who has promised that he would move speedily so that enforcement can begin immediately. We are talking about the no parking, no stopping, no vending signs and others."

TIME FOR ACTION

The mayor was responding to concerns raised by Councillor Suzette Brown, who represents the Montego Bay South Division, who was contending that too much lip service was being paid to the issue, which requires immediate action.

"We have been talking and glossing over this for far too long. What I want to know is what is going to be happening downtown," said Brown. "Driving along St James Street, I see the vendors are out in full force on a Sunday. Some business operators have been making efforts to improve the faÁade of their buildings, and these people can't wait to drive nails in the people's building to hang clothes for sale."

However, the mayor is insisting that the erection of the signs would make a difference in curtailing vending and the dumping of waste on the streets of the Second City.

In countering the mayor's position, Brown noted that, although there is a sign indicating 'no handcarts' on St James Street, the last time she passed there, she saw two handcarts parked before the sign.

"Once the signs are up, the enforcement aspect of the campaign will rest with the police - and Superintendent McGregor, in particular," said Harris.

barrington.flemming@gleanerjm.com