Dave Lindo and Horace Fisher, Gleaner Writers
SPALDINGS, Clarendon:VENDORS HAVE welcomed the recent opening of the new Spaldings Market. Marlene Brown, a vendor who has been selling in market for over 10 years, was happy for its completion. "We have been waiting for this moment for a long time; it is finally here, so all of us are happy about it. It is not an easy thing to be selling in the streets, so this is our moment of glory," Brown said.
Doreen Evans, president of the Spaldings Citizens Association, was also sharing in the joy of the opening of the market. "I am elated. I feel really honoured because most of the persons who sell on the streets are women and, as a woman, I really felt it for them," she remarked. "There were days when it rained and the water rushed under vendors' feet. I made several representation to the then Member of Parliament (Michael Stern), and there was just only promises."
The project was started by Azan in 2007 after the Ministry of Health closed down the old market due to its dilapidated and termite-infested condition. Work on the new market was halted for a while in 2007 during the tenure of Jamaica Labour Party MP Michael Stern.
On his re-election in the December 2011 general election, Azan made the resumption of the Spaldings Market project his main focus in North West Clarendon.
Phase two, which will have a food court, haberdashery and shops for rent or lease, will cost $30 million. This amount, as disclosed by Simpson Miller, has already been allocated from various agencies.
Meanwhile, Mayor of May Pen Scean Barnswell has served notice that street vending in Spalding will be a thing of the past. "Now that we have completed phase one of this new market for the people of Spaldings, let me emphasise that we will display zero tolerance for street vending in Spaldings," warned Barnswell.
He added, "In May Pen, we have put in place a number measures to ensure that there is some level of order in the parish capital, and I promise you that the Clarendon Parish Council will be bringing the same level of order to Spaldings."
Barnswell, in addressing the chronic traffic congestion in the Spaldings town centre, promised that the Clarendon Parish Council will undertake immediate restoration work on the Minnie Clarke Park to ease the situation.