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Portland: Zero tolerance for illegal vending

Published:Sunday | December 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Motorist, pedestrians and a cyclist battle for space on a crammed street in Port Antonio in Portland.
McKenzie
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The Portland Parish Council will be taking a zero tolerance approach to illegal vending on the streets of Port Antonio in the final shopping days for the Christmas season.

Mayor of Port Antonio, Wayne McKenzie, told The Sunday Gleaner that the council will be implementing changes as it relates to vending, as part of plans to rid the streets, corridors, and walk-way of congestion caused by vendors.

"Already the secretary manager and her staff have been discussing issues of vending," said McKenzie.

"The discussion surrounds how they are going to clear the corridors of the varied streets including West Street, Harbour Street, William Street, and Blake Street. The secretary manager has also met the police to see how best to deal with the situation of vending on the streets, "the mayor added.

According to McKenzie, any decision made by the council will be a sustained one and will involve the police, who are responsible for maintaining and enforcing the law, to ensure that no vending takes place within the precincts of the town.

"We are looking at the possibility of allowing vendors to operate along lower West Street and Love Lane on grand market day (Christmas Eve). However, unlike last year, no vending will be allowed near the Christmas tree area, which is the area close to the National Commercial Bank and the post office," said McKenzie.

He said persons in breach of the new regulations would more than likely face prosecution, as the council is on a drive to restore law and order on the streets of Port Antonio.

In the meantime head of the Portland police Superintendent Oberlin Smith White has welcomed the decision by the council to tackle the problem of illegal vending on the streets of Port Antonio.

Smith White said this will greatly reduce the problem of congestion in the town and allow the police to have a better view of the streets as they seek to reduce the likelihood of any criminal activity.