Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation, Leeroy Williams, has announced that the major thoroughfare of St. James Street has been declared a no-vending zone with immediate effect.
Speaking on Tuesday November 10, 2020 during a meeting convened by the St James Municipal Corporation with vendors who ply their wares along St. James Street, Mayor Williams said the decision to prohibit vending along St. James Street will be strictly enforced as vendors have literally taken over the space, making it difficult for pedestrians and motorists to go about their business.
“The change is being instituted to return some form of law and order to this major roadway which is being over-run by vendors, posing challenges to motorists and pedestrians. The measure has been put in place to have the vendors peddle their goods in other locations around the city that have been designated as vending zones, once it is done in accordance with the law.”, Mayor Williams stated.
He added that he is fully aware that vending has become a way of life for a number of citizens, but points out that it must be done in an orderly manner with respect for law and order.
Mayor Williams said “I have no problem with vending as I am fully aware that it supports the livelihood of many but it must be done in such a way that law and order is maintained in the city especially on St James Street which continues to be one of the busiest roadways in Montego Bay. Vendors are being warned that failure to comply will result in serious actions being taken against those who fail to comply. These measures could include seizure of goods to prosecution and a ban on offending vendors from being registered to trade in the parish of St. James”.
The vendors were receptive to the announcement from mayor Williams but voiced their concerns that the time span allocated to sell their goods was not enough.
In response, Mayor Williams said he was cognizant of the effects of the curfew on vending, and stated that considerations will be made to aptly accommodate the vendors while adhering to the Covid-19 regulations.
Chief Executive Officer of the St James Municipal Corporation, Gerald Lee and Inspector of Police, Delroy Harriott who were also at the meeting, supported Mayor Williams in his demand for full cooperation from all stakeholders to ensure a smooth running of the township.
For his part Inspector Harriott said “the Jamaica Constabulary Force will be adopting a zero tolerance approach to vending along St. James Street in support of the announcement by Mayor Williams. We have been observing the space and are fully aware of the areas where the breaches are taking place and will be moving to take corrective actions”.