TMC clamps down on street vending in Falmouth
Falmouth Mayor Collen Gager on Monday gave orders to a Trelawny Municipal Corporation (TMC) team to seize goods in the seaside resort town after some vendors disobeyed warnings that vending would not be allowed on the sidewalks.
“I have given these vendors ample notice that they should cease vending on the sidewalks of the town, and in the main, they refused to obey, hence the activity of seizing the goods they have on display,” said Gager, who is also the chairman of the TMC.
The mayor noted that because the vendors have taken over the sidewalks, pedestrians have been forced to walk in the streets, which puts them in danger.
“This action of the illegal vendors exposes people to being hit by vehicles traversing the area and we cannot allow that to continue,” he said.
Gager added that the absence of order will lead to chaos, something that could prove harmful to Falmouth’s image as a tourism destination.
Because of their proximity to the busy Historic Falmouth cruise shipping pier, a number of vendors were reluctant to leave the streets near the town centre as they believe that area presents them with the best opportunity for lucrative sales.
Winston Palmer, CEO of the TMC, told The Gleaner that the effort to bring order to the streets of Falmouth is not limited to just evicting the street vendors in the town.
“We are going through the parish to remove those vendors who have set up stalls, and in some cases, shops along the main highway,” said Palmer. “All along the roadway, there are vehicles parked and people supporting these vendors. This must stop before the whole roadway is taken up by illegal vending.”
He added that the effort to bring order to the streets is a joint effort between the TMC’s municipal police, who are also working with the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
“I want to warn the vendors that it will not be a one-day activity. We will be on the lookout to prevent any form of illegal vending. The mayor has consistently warned that all vending must take place in the market,” said Palmer. “There has to be respect for civic pride and law and order.”
Despite the defiance they had previously shown, the rogue vendors did not show any resistance on Monday.
“The vendors either ran away from their stalls or stood by and watched the officers remove the stalls with the goods on the handcart,” said Palmer.
None of the vendors were prosecuted.