THE Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has embarked on an initiative to develop a Vending Policy, which will ensure consistent operations at the various marketplaces, and influence the operation of vendors.
In a statement, the Municipality noted that it will be gathering data on the views and opinions of vendors, as the Council, via a survey, will ensure that all stakeholders are involved in consultations before the policy is activated.
The information gathered from the vendors will be used to compile the final draft of the policy. “It is absolutely necessary at this juncture that the Council implement a policy to guide and control the vending activities along the city’s streets. Vending has become (a) means of earning a livelihood for many single parents who reside in Georgetown and other rural areas,” City Hall said in the statement.
The proposed policy, the M&CC said, will provide a legal framework within which vendors can operate, as it sets out to make vending a special component of urban development by allowing for zoning. Issues such as hygiene practices, disposal of waste, and legitimate representation are some of the issues being addressed in the documents.
The policy will also consider every facet of vending, including seasonal, night, mobile and itinerant operations. “The Council is encouraging vendors to cooperate with officers to gather information on their views,” City Hall said, adding: “The Council continues to seek to provide creative ways for vendors to ply their trade in the city. The Council has always sought to use creative and amicable ways to address the vending issue.”
In 1976, the Council responded to the needs of the vending population by constructing the Vendors’ Arcade. In 1988, the Stabroek Bazaar was constructed. In order to bring relief to those seeking a venue to ply their trades, the municipal facility was constructed. In 1990, two sections of Merriman Mall were identified to allow vendors to operate. Most recently, in 2009, the New Vendors’ Mall on Water Street was established.
The Georgetown Municipality has been seeking to draft laws to govern the number of stalls a market vendor can own since August 2018.