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Market ‘stall’

Confusion over Cheapside facelift

by Sheria Brathwaite
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By Sheria Brathwaite 

Plans to improve Cheapside, The City ahead of the Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup appeared mired in confusion on Friday over who would move to make way for a facelift and when.

While the executive of the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN) has claimed that some fruit and vegetable vendors who operate on the outskirts of the Cheapside Public Market will have to move temporarily to make way for a refurbishment project, the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTII) denied the vendors were to be moved.

Vendors have reportedly expressed concern that they were being moved to a new location without formal notice, fearing that the move could affect their sales and livelihood.

But, on Friday, BARVEN’s Roving Communications Officer Robert Maloney told Barbados TODAY the vendors would be moved temporarily to allow for the area where they ply their trade to be spruced up. As part of the government’s project to transform Bridgetown, it was agreed that the Cheapside area needed a facelift as the area was not aesthetically pleasing, he said.

Maloney said the 25 vendors would be set up where the old BARVEN market was previously located, next door to the now-defunct ShopSmart in Cheapside.

“We would have informed them verbally that there would be upgrades to the area because it is a little unsightly and unkempt. The roots of the tree have been a challenge for the vendors and we want to make sure that there is no conflict with pedestrians that frequent that area. The vendors are very close to the sidewalk and if the vendors could move further in, closer to the market, that would be accommodating. We also think the grass and mud could be removed and some of the trees that have roots encroaching on the sidewalk,” he said, adding that the plan to improve the market was outlined years ago but officials wanted to capitalise on Barbados’ opportunity to host the World Cup to expedite the process.”

BTII’s City Manager Neval Greenidge. (FP)

Maloney said BARVEN met with the BTII’s City Manager Neval Greenidge about three weeks ago, adding that the move to improve the Cheapside environment also included a refurbishment project at the nearby Temple Yard craft market.

The fruit and vegetable vendors, he said, will soon receive written correspondence that they had to move. Maloney added that he expected to have a follow-up discussion with Greenidge sometime next week to discuss the logistics of the temporary relocation.

But, on Friday’s edition of the Down to Brass Tacks call-in radio programme, Greenidge denied that the vendors would be moved, stressing that he was only aware of the refurbishment at Temple Yard.

Asked if vendors along the pavement outside the Cheapside Public Market will be moved, Greenidge said: “I have heard nothing, I have been given no information on them at all. I was just dealing strictly with Temple Yard but nothing has been discussed about the other people on the other side of the street.”

At Temple Yard, about 15 artisans are be moved to three locations to facilitate the refurbishment project, he said, adding that he spoke to the craftsmen there about three or four weeks ago and they would soon receive notice about placement.

sheriabrathwaite@barbadostoday.bb

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