AG urges business owners to play their part in curbing illegal vending

Business owners are being urged to fight against illegal vending and other encumbrances along streets, parapets and public roads within Georgetown, utilising the legal route.

Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, SC, made the call during his television programme ‘Issues in the news’ aired recently. 

Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, SC

The minister explained, “A resident whose house or living accommodation is blocked by unlawful vending …can go to a judge and get an order directing the City Council to come and clear that vendor or clear that encumbrance, so can the owners of businesses in Georgetown.

“This must not be a government fight alone, this involves everyone…it’s a matter of public order, it is a matter of the rule of law.”

Minister Nandlall explained that the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is obligated to prohibit illegal vending or encumbrances on streets, parapets, pavements and public roads found within their jurisdiction.

This responsibility is found in the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01.  If the M&CC fails to fulfill its statutory responsibilities, the central government can take over.

However, the attorney general noted, “It is not something that central government would like to do but the Mayor and City Council must understand that if they neglect to execute their statutory functions… if they act in breach of their statutory duties, if they neglect and refuse to carry out their obligations under the law then they can be sued and central government can take over.”

The Attorney General’s statements comes following a standoff between Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine and the Public Works Ministry during the removal of illegal vendors outside of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

The vendors who were occupying spaces along New Market Street, Thomas and East Streets were issued final notices to remove ALL encumbrances that were used for vending. A statement from the ministry explained that these were impeding the smooth flow of traffic at the main public health institution.

Minister Nandlall added that although persons want to make a living, They have to do so within the confines of the law.”

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