Black River and Santa Cruz Market woes

Published: Saturday | December 28, 2013 Comments 0
Vendor stalls along the street in Black River, St Elizabeth, with the unfinished market in the background. Photo by Launtia Cuff
Vendor stalls along the street in Black River, St Elizabeth, with the unfinished market in the background. Photo by Launtia Cuff

Correction & Clarification

In the story captioned ‘Black River and Santa Cruz woes’, published in the Gleaner of Saturday, December 28, 2013, the following quote was attributed to Member of Parliament for South West St Elizabeth, Hugh Buchanan. The quote was in fact uttered by Raymond Pryce, Member of Parliament for North East St Elizabeth.

“With respect to the Santa Cruz Market, as member of parliament, I have visited, held meetings at, purchased from, and had many interactions with vendors there. The most obvious characteristic of that market (and perhaps all markets in the country) is that the majority of persons who use the markets, either as vendors or consumers, are women. The condition of the facilities such as bathrooms, restrooms, and solid-waste sorting and collection is woefully inadequate. This leads to other problems in terms of the general aesthetics and shopping or selling experiences,” he told Rural Express.

The Gleaner apologises for any inconvenience caused.

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Launtia Cuff, Gleaner Writer

With 2014 just around the corner, Black River vendors still remain on the street as the work on the Black River market has still not been completed.

Member of Parliament for North East St Elizabeth, Raymond Pryce, has expressed concerns about the delay at the Black River Market and said that the completion is long overdue. He said while he was aware that the council was in dialogue with the Ministry of Local Government, more needed to be done to have it completed.

"I would like to call on the minister of local government. I know that the parish council is doing what they can do - they've been having their regular dialogue with the ministry - however, I believe that it has not been enough. I want the Black River Market to be completed as soon as possible, and that would have been months ago. It's something that started before the last election, the demolition of it. They had promised that Phase One of the project was to be completed from April 2012. It took until about December 2012 to be completed and I really want the Ministry of Local Government to take the Black River Market to heart," Buchanan said.

CRUCIAL DEVELOPMENT

He added that in order to move forward with the development of the historic town, it was important for not only the vendors to be removed from the streets, but for the taxi operators to be removed as well.

"We cannot continue to operate in Black River with the market as it is. We need to get back the bus park so that the police can clear the streets of Black River of the taxis. They can go back to using the park, revenue can go back into the parish council, and the vendors can go back to paying the parish council again for the stalls that they'll be using in the market. And we can go on to the arcade, which is opposite to the market, because that is where the next phase of development has to take place - in the town - to reshape the overall landscape of Black River as a town," the member of parliament said.

Pryce said that he would be lobbying different government agencies as well as non-government organisations to achieve a more beautiful and pristine town.

Pryce also expressed his concerns about sanitary inconveniences at the Santa Cruz market.

"With respect to the Santa Cruz Market, as member of parliament, I have visited, held meetings at, purchased from, and had many interactions with vendors there. The most obvious characteristic of that market (and perhaps all markets in the country) is that the majority of persons who use the markets, either as vendors or consumers, are women. The condition of the facilities such as bathrooms, restrooms, and solid-waste sorting and collection is woefully inadequate. This leads to other problems in terms of the general aesthetics and shopping or selling experiences," the member of parliament told Rural Express.

The chairman of the St Elizabeth Parish Council said it had been the hope of the council to have already addressed the sanitary concerns; however, that expectation had not been met.

He said, so far, $2 million dollars worth of work had been completed at the market and the council was seeking to acquire additional funds from the ministry of local government to develop the Santa Cruz market.

rural@gleanerjm.com

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