The barbers and hairdressers who left the streets to ply their trade at the Merriman’s Mall will be given until July 31 2017, to remove and find themselves a suitable location.
This was the stance taken by Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green on Wednesday in a meeting with the affected persons at the City Hall.
Chase-Green explained to the barbers and cosmetologists that the City will not be preparing spots for them to ply their trade, as they disobeyed the previous request to desist from utilizing the streets. This ‘disregard’ has resulted in residents of North Road and Church streets complaining about the state in which the area is in.
The vendors blamed the unsanitary conditions on the citizens of Georgetown, since according to them [vendors] they would clean their workstation and leave only to return to find garbage which was littered there.
Some of the affected business persons recalled that when they were removed from the Merriman’s Mall last year by Town Clerk, Royston King, he had promised to prepare a location for them to set up their business. As such, they called on the Mayor to honor this promise.
However, the Mayor responded that the city is not obligated to facilitate the demands of the vendors. She noted that in the past, structures were established for persons to ply their trade but “this was only because of the good heart of the Council.”
Deputy Mayor, Lionel Jaikarran also told the barbers and hairdressers that the Mayor and City Council will be glad to assist them in locating a unit where they can collectively come together, pay the rent and ply their trades.
“We realize that you need to make a living…Possibly, we can help you to find a place where 3,4,5 of you can get together and rent a place. We [M&CC] will not be paying the rent, let me make that clear. But we will assist you to the best of our ability to find somewhere where you can all collectively rent,” he said.
He further asked that the affected persons respect the decision of the M&CC since plying their specific trade in an open space is not healthy for anyone.
“Understand our motives; it is against our Public Law rules, health rules to barber [and provide cosmetology services] not within an enclosed area” Jaikarran said.
The entrepreneurs, who once occupied pavements along Croal, America, Longden and Regent streets, were moved to the Merriman’s Mall in May last year.
The move was initiated by the Georgetown Mayor and City Council.
The area was fitted with running water, electricity and toilet facilities.
While the facility which was set up free of cost to the operators, each person is required to pay a fee of $1,000 per week for cleaning and maintenance of the area.
The Mayor also noted that an extension will be granted for persons to find a suitable working station- preferably in a building- once the Council can see that the persons are actually making an attempt. (Ramona Luthi)