Chairman of the St. James Municipal Corporation and Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Leeroy Williams is reiterating that the situation where the streets of downtown Montego Bay continue to be over-run by Vendors cannot continue. To this end, Mayor Williams is again moving to have vending regulated along in the designated areas by October 1, 2021.
Mayor Williams said despite several meeting with Vendors to regulate their status, Vendors continue to peddle their wares at will, to include St. James Street which has been declared a NO VENDING ZONE.
Mayor Williams said “vendors can be seen on St. James Street, Vendors with items of clothes strung on store fronts, hand carts are seen loaded with ground provisions and several food vendors to include Jerk Pan Vendors with smoke billowing from their operations in all areas, making the historic Montego Bay Cultural Centre barely visible and leaving ash and grease which discolour the cobble stones. Pedestrians barely have access to the sidewalk, causing them to be competing with motor vehicles. This is an untidy situation”.
He added that this latest move to regulate vending in downtown Montego Bay is not aimed at depriving those involved of a livelihood, but is being done to bring back some semblance of law and order into the space.
“I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not opposed to vending. However, I do believe it can be done in a more orderly and structured way’, Mayor Williams stated.
He went on to again state the designated and approved vending areas for downtown Montego Bay which are:
LOWER MARKET STREET
LOWER LAWRENCE LANE
TOP ST. CLAVER’S AVENUE ( IN FRONT OF HILO SUPERMARKET)
CORNER LANE (CONDITIONAL VENDING)
Mayor Williams is again stating that St. James Street remains a strict NO VENDING AREA a position which he said will be maintained going forward.
He said “Montego Bay is no ordinary city. It is the tourism capital of Jamaica and it is often referred to as the tourism mecca of the Caribbean. When visitors from all parts of the world come to Jamaica and come to downtown Montego Bay, they are appalled by the chaotic situation on St. James Street. This reflects badly on our great and wonderful city”.
Mayor Williams pointed out that the St. James Municipal Corporation is currently in the process of registering vendors, which will pave the way for the planned roll out of vendors operating with valid identification cards which will be colour-coded to indicate their vending location.
“By Friday October 1, all registered vendors should have their colour coded identification card which will include where they should vend. Hand Cart Vendors with ground provisions MUST confine themselves to the Market District, Mayor Williams opined.
He also pointed out that there will be lines of demarcation in the approved vending areas to indicate the space for each vendor and that no-parking signs will be erected in order not to have motor vehicle parked along approved vending streets.
Mayor Williams said “vendors who fail to comply with the rules of engagement face the risk of having their goods seized, being prosecuted and that their ID cards and vendors permit will be revoked.