JAM | Jun 19, 2023

McKenzie urges compassion for displaced Musgrave vendors

/ Our Today

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Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie (second left), listens to a point being made by craft vendor, Kathlene Henry (right). Looking on (from left) are Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Paul Thompson and Member of Parliament, Portland Eastern, Ann-Marie Vaz. Occasion was a brief address to the Portland Municipal Corporation on Friday (June 16) following Minister McKenzie’s tour of the fire-ravaged Musgrave Market in Port Antonio. (Photo: Michael Sloley)

Municipal police officers in Portland are being urged to be compassionate to vendors who were displaced by the Musgrave Market fire in the parish capital, Port Antonio, in May.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, who toured the market on Friday (June 16), noted that temporary arrangements have been made for the vendors while the facility is being repaired.

“I have said to the Mayor [of Port Antonio] and to the [Portland Municipal Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer] that the work of the municipal police during this time must have a certain level of compassion in the execution of the duties,” he informed.

“I understand that the municipal police have been acting in an understanding way. But I just want to emphasise that we are expecting consideration,” he added.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie (left), manoeuvres damaged structures at the Musgrave Market in Port Antonio, Portland, which was affected by a fire on May 28. The Minister toured the facility on Friday (June 16). (Photo: Michael Sloley)

In the same vein, the Minister told the vendors that this level of compassion is “not a free ticket for vending to be done in an obstructive way”.

“The areas that are assigned for temporary vending, we are hoping that they will be observed and that the vendors will stick to these locations,” he said.

It was revealed during Friday’s meeting that about seven or eight craft vendors have not yet been placed.

The Minister advised that “we are now working to find alternative arrangements for these craft vendors to ply their trade”.

Meanwhile, McKenzie has assured that the Ministry is prepared to undertake the repairs, so that normalcy can be restored for the vendors.

The money is in the Ministry to undertake the repairs to the Musgrave market as soon as we have finished the process of the design and follow the structure that is in place for us to commence the work,” he said.


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