PM knocks Kingstown Town Board’s treatment of vendors
Dr Ralph Gonsalves
Front Page
February 2, 2024
PM knocks Kingstown Town Board’s treatment of vendors

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has rapped the knuckles of officials at the Kingstown Town Board for threatening to remove vendors who are in default of their payments for vending in Kingstown.

Speaking on NBC Radio on Wednesday, January, 31, the Prime Minister said he saw a report “that somebody from Town Board said, they gwine throw people out if they don’t pay.”

He made it clear that this move is contrary to what he said in his Independence address last October, when he promised some relief for these vendors.

“Well wait until the relief is sorted out nuh. Shoulder can’t go above head,” the Prime Minister commented.

This issue with the vendors was brought to light in an article “ Vendors told to pay up due fees or go,” that was published in the January 19, weekend issue of SEARCHLIGHT.

The article highlighted the concerns raised by vendors mainly at the vegetable market after they received a letter from the Kingstown Town Board informing them to pay outstanding fees.

The letter which was dated January 16, 2024 stated in part “ Let me remind you that as long as you are in occupation of a space in the Town, you are required to pay fees.”

The letter was signed by warden of the Kingstown Clayton Burgin, a former minister of government. Vendors in the vegetable market are charged $5.00 a day, and are required to make their payments weekly, but one vendor who had arrears in excess of $480 related that “nobody does come in here to buy anything, only those at the entrance get sales, so how we at the back of the market supposed to make money”?

There are other users of facilities that fall under the jurisdiction of the Kingstown Town Board who are said to have arrears of up to $10,000.

On Wednesday, Dr Gonsalves did not state the source of his information, nor held any particular official at the Town Board accountable for the apparent blunder.

“We have good people at the Town Board,” he said, adding that the Warden of the Kingstown Town Board is doing “a splendid job.”