Henry wants orderly taxi parking, vending in May Pen
Central Clarendon Member of Parliament Mike Henry is demanding immediate action from the newly installed Clarendon Municipal Corporation to bring order to taxi parking and vending in May Pen.
Henry cited the growing use of the old police station compound, located in the heart of the parish capital, which is earmarked for a major community green space, as a parking facility for taxi operators in the town.
He has demanded an immediate arrest of the practice, which, he said, flies in the face of the purposeful plan in place for the development of the property.
In a release yesterday, Henry said a commercial centre was initially planned for the property, but this was decided against, in preference for the badly needed green space in the parish capital.
He claims that the previous People's National Party government deliberately stunted the timely development of the property.
Henry is now calling on the municipal corporation, headed by Mayor Winston Maragh, to "put a stop to the taxi parking on the property right away as there should be no hindrance at any stage ahead for the planned development of the property as an environmentally friendly community space".
The member of parliament said at the parochial planning level that the town has been in decline for quite some time and it needs some improved public order arrangements, including for taxi parking and street vending.
He said that while the taxi-parking challenges are not severe as adequate space is available "and the municipal corporation simply needs to put its foot down in applying the rules that are in place", it is quite a different situation with vending in the town centre.
Henry said there is definitely not enough public-vending facilities in the town centre, and it should be a priority of the corporation to broaden stakeholder interest in the development of more public-vending facilities.
He also said the first right to any additional vending facility or space should go to the people of the town, "not itinerant vendors from all over the place".
Henry said with the present vending arrangements being problematic all-round, only a holistic approach towards resolving the problems will bring about meaningful and lasting solutions.
"Therefore, I urge the new municipal corporation to seek to balance the public-order needs with the economic interest factor which drive the mushrooming of vending in the town centre; this, as we work together towards the broad goal of bringing adequate, structured and orderly vending arrangements to the town centre," urged Henry.
He said the councillors for the divisions in May Pen (Central Clarendon) will be directly held to account by him for their effectiveness in addressing the public concerns within the town. This was because, unlike some elected political representatives, he was not prepared to preside over a community in continuous decline.