Brown Burke wants help for Constant Spring Market vendors
The People’s National Party Shadow Spokesperson on Local Government Dr Angela Brown Burke says she's profoundly disappointed at the manner in which the vendors at the Constant Spring Market in St Andrew are being treated.
The vendors were recently served with eviction notices by the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) to vacate the market by the end of September.
The market is to be demolished as the government is currently upgrading and widening the heavily-traffic roadway.
The notices came after vendors went to court to contest attempts by the corporation to remove them.
The court had granted an injunction but the vendors failed to get an extension.
Brown Burke is urging Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie to intervene and to identify an acceptable place for vendors to ply their wares.
“I find it unacceptable that these law-abiding citizens, who have been vending legally and paying fees for decades, some for nearly 40 years, could be treated like second-class citizens in their own country by the government of the day. It is also clear that the Mayor and the leadership of the KSAMC do not see themselves as having any responsibility to the vendors, who are now being displaced by the very action of the Council,” Brown Burke said.
According to her, the vendors, who she said resorted to the courts to force the KSAMC to issue a proper notice to vacate the facility, have not even been granted the courtesy of a meeting with the municipal authority.
“To add insult to injury, the KSAMC and others proclaim that ‘it’s a done deal,’ without any attempt to speak to the vendors directly,” Brown Burke said.
She said that there is ample space to create a new vending area in proximity to the soon-to-be-demolished market.
“This is leading many of us to wonder whether there is an alternate plan that is not being articulated which excludes the traditional market vendors from the space,” she said.
The opposition spokesman said she will spare no effort to do whatever is necessary to highlight the plight of the market vendors and urge all well-thinking Jamaicans, especially those using the Constant Spring Market, to stand up for what is right and support the right of the vendors to a proper place for vending.