Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor
The Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has issued a reminder to vendors in the downtown Kingston market district that they also have a responsibility to look after their surroundings.
With new town clerk Robert Hill vowing to enforce the no-vending rules in some areas of the market district while improving the look of the area, Mayor Angela Brown-Burke has urged the vendors to remember that they also have responsibilities.
"I believe that for too long we have accepted, as normal, the irresponsible behaviour of a few and their disrespect for all," argued Brown-Burke, as she marked the second anniversary of the present council.
The mayor admitted that providing suitable spaces for vendors and shoppers, and ensuring that they remain in these areas has been a challenge but argued that the KSAC is actively moving to address this.
"Last year, in an attempt to improve the conditions of these facilities, we continued the major rehabilitation project started at the beginning of the term. This saw work being done to improve the sanitary conveniences and general surrounding of the markets, as well as improvements to the Redemption Arcade.
"Additionally, we were able to restore potable water to these markets, as we were able to re-engage the National Water Commission. There are still some gaps to cover, but we are making steady progress," declared Brown-Burke.
However, she argued that users of the markets are not meeting their responsibilities.
"The town clerk and I, along with a team of officers, accompanied by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, took a walk through the market district, just last week, and I was amazed at the wanton disregard for cleanliness and good hygiene practices by some of our vendors.
"My stop at a particular area where there was a demonstration, revealed that these same individuals are possibly the greatest cause of their own problem. Let me say this, you cannot clean your fish, or dispose of the waste you have by dropping it at your feet and later sweeping it into the drain. This will cause the blocking of the drains."
In the meantime Hill has vowed to restore order to the market district in downtown Kingston.
According to Hill, "with the visionary leadership of Brown-Burke, the KSAC is determined to tackle the problem of persons setting up their stalls in no-vending areas".
"We have to exercise some proper discipline and we have to understand that it is not a free-for-all. There are designated vending areas and there are other areas that you must not vend, for traffic and other reasons," Hill told The Gleaner.
"The persons that occupy the market space must exercise some higher level of responsibility, in terms of how they manage their environment. It can't be, in 2014 and going forward, that you dump and mess and throw and cast anything that you want anywhere," added Hill.