Vending on Charlotte Street, between Queen and Independence Square, will be suspended for one year.
This decision by the Port of Spain City Corporation is not sitting well with the new executive of the Charlotte Street Vendors Association.
Speaking to Guardian Media, president of the association Crystal Daniel said that there was no consultation.
The vendors were allowed to vend on Charlotte Street as part of the Charlotte Street Heritage project which was launched in 2006.
“I was only aware of this new development during a meeting with the City Engineer at City Hall. The Port- of- Spain mayor was absent from this meeting”, she said,
“The programme was to resume this week with the registration of vendors but then we were told that they want to remove vendors along Charlotte Street between Queen Street and Independence Square,” she added.
Daniel said the corporation told them those vendors will now be placed with other vendors from Duke to Queen Streets on Charlotte Street.
Daniel also claimed the association was never notified.
She noted that with consultation the corporation would have known vendors being removed will be placed at risk going higher up the street because of the areas they live.
“I want to know what the plan is for the area, they are not telling us how long it will be closed off for, am being told a year and we are not sure what are the exact plans”, she said.
She added: “I think there is a plan to remove us permanently, things are to be done professionally but the corporation is bent not to operate that way”, the President explained, “if the corporation does not resolve this matter the vendors association will lobby the Minister of Local Government and the Prime Minister.”
She said it was unfair that the vendors did not get notice and time to prepare themselves with the new development.
“ I want to know who will replace us and things will not go forward until there is consultation”, she said.
Port of Spain mayor Joel Martinez said he is aware of the vendors relocating and they were consulted last year about the plans the City Corporation had for that area.
“Our plan is to create a pedestrian shopping area on Charlotte Street in tandem with the Chinatown iniatitive, this means work will have to go to upgrade the sidewalks and roadway.
This is phase one and there will be disruption as we continue the project up the street,” Martinez said.
Reporter: Otto Carrington