Letter: Unfair competition still persists

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Dear Editor,

Driving along Church Street or North Road, Georgetown, one cannot help but notice on the Merriman Mall between Cummings and Light Streets, a most unattractive and unsightly area that is occupied by a number of barbers and cosmetologists who were scooped up from the pavements of America, Longden, Regent and Croal Streets in the downtown area of Georgetown and dumped there.

Indeed officials of the City Council themselves said that the condition of the area is like a shantytown, and that the place was an embarrassment to the City Council. They even conceded that they were not in compliance with public health guidelines, which state that they should operate in enclosed spaces equipped with facilities to sterilise instruments used and that they provided unfair competition to established barbershops and hairdressing salons who had to rent stations at not insignificant prices costly and who had to be licensed by the Public Health Department, whilst those on the Mall were unregistered and unlicensed and operating without even paying the $1000 environmental fee.

But do you think those dark forces at City Hall corrected the situation? Of course not! They allowed these vendors to cover the base of the work stations with new vinyl and replace the old tents with new tents and continue in violation of the public health guidelines and in competition with the established barbershops and hairdressing salons who pay their property rates to the Council and taxes to the Government. Just so sick and irresponsible!

But that is not all. The Council has now facilitated the erection of two huge billboards at both ends of this cluster of makeshift business places captioned ‘Georgetown Beauty and Body Promenade’. Is this not a mockery? The word beauty which means the quality of being physically attractive, cannot in any way be assimilated with that area. It cannot even refer to the services the vendors provide as their operations are unregistered, unlicensed and not compliance with public health guidelines.

But then again, the Town Clerk could be seen on Facebook being treated to a pedicure there, and is well known to have delusions of grandeur in affixing the name of Parliament View Mall to a squalid and overcrowded vending area. The erection of such a sign is not only taunting but a waste of money. Poor Georgetown!

Sincerely,

Modi Sankar

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