Clean-up of Kingstown delayed

A photo of popular vending spot – Bedford street, Kingstown on July 31, 2022. Photo: Demion McTair.

By Admin. Updated 5:00 a.m., Thursday, September 8, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

The start of the planned clean-up of capital city Kingstown has been delayed.

Government Senator, Minister of Urban Development, Energy, Airports, Seaports, Grenadines Affairs and Local Government, Julian Francis said in July the clean up was scheduled to begin immediately after carnival.

Senator Francis, however, became ill on July 24 to the extent that he had to be flown out of the country for an MRI scan. He has since returned and is still recovering.

Speaking on NBC Radio on September 7, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who now temporarily holds Senator Francis’ portfolio of Urban Development, said: “Minister Francis had things in place and after the carnival he was to begin the movement of persons from streets into the various areas.”

The prime minister said Cabinet has already decided on the plan left by Senator Francis, but the plan needs to now be “operationalized”.

He said he met with the permanent secretary in the ministry of urban development last week to discuss the operationalization of the plan, and a meeting is to be held next week “to deal with the operationalization of the plan which has been left in place by Julian (Senator Francis).”

Minister Francis had said that operation clean-up Kingstown would be delivered by Christmas 2022.

In early July, Minister Francis had announced that three areas in Kingstown had been designated for vendors, and they were 95 percent ready.

The designated areas together can accommodate 280 vending stalls. The government established the areas to get vendors off the streets of Kingstown to ensure more order and better utility of the city.

The government made several unsuccessful attempts in the past to relocate vendors from the streets of Kingstown, but this time the government has alternative spaces to relocate the vendors.

The prime minister said: “I am sure that if Julian didn’t get ill we would have already seen some movement there.”

On Senator Francis’ condition, the prime minister said: “By the way, he’s coming along fine. He’s coming along fine, and I hail him up and I hail up Jerry Scott too,” referring to former parliamentary representative for South Leeward – Jeremiah Scott who recently suffered a stroke.

Mr. Scott served from 1984 to 2001 under the James Mitchell led New Democratic Party – NDP administration.

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