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Vendors plead: Renew licences

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Vendors plead: Renew licences

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VENDORS WANT GOVERNMENT to give them a fair break and renew the licences of those who ply their trade on Marhill Street, The City.
Alister Alexander, president of the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN), charged that vendors were being discriminated against by the Ministry of Agriculture, which was “reversing the gains” made by the vending sector under the previous [Barbados Labour Party] administration.
He told the  SATURDAY?SUN that the association was trying to get Government to fulfill the promises made to the vending community when it was in Opposition.
“We are asking them to return the licences of the vendors. That is our main purpose. We are also asking Government to further the dialogue and communication that was promised to vendors. BARVEN is about social and historical development. We would like the various stakeholders on this issue to come together and find a way forward as far as vending in Barbados is concerned,” Alexander said.
The BARVEN president on Tuesday delivered a three-page letter, in which he claimed that the rights of vendors were being infringed, to various Members of Parliament following the adjournment of the House of Assembly.
“We are advised also that the ministry, which by right can refuse to offer a reason for the revocation, did not exercise its rights in this case, opting instead to publicly give one; one which also has been documented in a letter that had purported to revoke the vendors’ licences before the dated expiration.
It is a legal opinion that that documented reason can come under judicial scrutiny [though] the licences may now be expired,” the letter stated.
“While the Ministry of Agriculture has the right under the Market And Slaughter House Act to refuse to renew a licence, it does not have the right to do so for reasons that are unlawful or unconstitutional,” said Alexander who noted that BARVEN members would continue with their lobbying efforts.
“We are [thinking] about forming an Occupy Bridgetown movement on the issue. We hope that it won’t have to come to that,” he added. (ROG)