The President of the Vendors Association, Peter Isaac, believes inconsistency on the part of the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) is contributing to confusion among some vendors.
But Isaac has made it clear that he does not condone vendors violating vending regulations.
He spoke Wednesday, hours after the CCC declared that vendors should not use COVID-19 as an excuse to break the law.
The CCC outlined its position in a press release.
The release came after someone posted a video on social media of a City Police officer confiscating a cart with produce from a roving vendor on a City sidewalk.
“I have said it before, the CCC has to take some blame for the things that are going on,” Isaac told St Lucia Times.
He said the rules and regulations of the CCC are not clear.
“They allow things to happen in one area – they disallow it in a next,” Isaac explained.
And he asserted that in some places where the CCC does not allow vending, it later allows vendors there.
As a result, Isaac said vendors do not take the word of the CCC as ‘Gospel’.
“I am not in support of everyone having a cart pushing around town trying to sell produce,” Isaac stated.
He observed that a market is in place.
However Isaac explained that while some vendors are in the market, others are allowed to vend outside the market.
The Vendors Association President said this undermines the market vendors.
He said people who are able to buy from vendors outside the market, will not patronise those inside the facility.
By way of example, he cited the situation of farmers.
“Farmers are retailing just like vendors,” he noted.
“Why would the farmer who is coming to sell produce to the vendors stay in the same place after?”
He said some of the people who say they are farmers are selling produce during the week in their vans and trucks.
“On Saturdays they come out and sell,” Isaac asserted.
“They prepare a special place for them which is where the old fire station was before,” he stated.
“Why should they extend another market so farmers can sell there?” Isaac asked.
He recalled that the CCC is implementing no vending on Jeremie Street.
But Isaac said on Saturdays there are about three or four persons selling in the same area.
“All that is inconsistency,” he declared.
Isaac said because of the ‘inconsistency’ other vendors raise questions.
“Because of these people on the streets, the market vendors say they are not getting sales,” he told St Lucia Times.
Isaac said the market vendors complain that once people can buy goods on the street, they will not go into the market.
Headline photo caption: Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac