Anna Regina Town Council to relocate roadside vendors to Bush Lot market

The Anna Regina Town Council is seeking to relocate vendors plying their trade along the roadside, to the Bush Lot Market at Cotton Field.

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips, MP, and Minister of Public Service Sonia Parag, MP, were informed over the weekend that consultations are ongoing over the removal.

Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, MP

“We have ongoing discussions about this where you will see persons leave Bush Lot to go and sell on the roadside of Anna Regina. Police and us (Town Council) tried to move them but then they start to follow Prince Holder, and now they are saying that they must stay there. We have told them that they were selling illegally there and they have to move from there because we want to do some work on the road,” a councillor told the Government team.

The Prime Minister and public service minister were part of a two-day Cabinet outreach held in the region.

Bibi Haberdash, a vendor of Bush Lot market, said she has been struggling financially to pay her stall rental fees for some time because of roadside vendors.

“We don’t sell nor do we make any profit to pay the rent. We are now forced by the council to pay rent as they have been sending letters to us over and over and threaten us that they will take back the stall,” she related.

The distressed vendor added, “that two hours [they give us] you cannot sell anything because of the competition on the road which the council needs to understand.”

Bibi Haberdash, Bush Lot market vendor

As such, she asked that the town council allow for a reduction of the stall fees until the economy stabilises.

Minister Parag told the vendor that she is aware of the situation and it will be dealt with shortly.

“We will make a representation about this matter and so the respective ministers will return to the region soon to check up on the concerns addressed to ensure what is promised is fulfilled.”

Earlier this year, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, MP, had called for all roadside vending at Anna Regina to be halted to allow road development works to be undertaken.

The town council intends to construct two roads leading to Anna Regina. He had also instructed the council to procure about fifty collapsible tents for the vendors to continue their trade at Cotton Field.

Some vendors had complied with this request; however, this matter remained the same after the Region’s PNC/R Chairman, Prince Holder led a protest with the vendors to highlight their concerns.