Exorbitant vending fees threatening Mash celebrations

–Deputy Mayor

Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Green is upset at the manner in which fees for vending on Mashramani Day were exorbitantly raised by the Town Clerk Carol Sooba without the council’s permission.

“This administration is charging people and it is defeating the purpose of Mash. It was never the intention to exploit people…,” Chase-Green, Chairman of the City Council’s Social Deve-lopment Committee, told a news conference yesterday. “Mash is a national event; any cost should be minimal to gain back what we would have expended. But to set a target every year to say you want to make X amount of money is not the right thing to do as is being done now. The Town Clerk, without discussion with the councillors decided that she is going to change the situation.”

She pointed out that the main reason for collecting fees for spots on Mash-ramani Day was for the council to earn some cash so as to clean up the garbage after the celebration. She said the clean-up exercise costs between $356,000 and $400,000.

Patricia Chase-Green
Patricia Chase-Green

“To get immediate removal of garbage the same night or early the next day we would have a sale of spots and the prices of these spots were approved by the M&CC and the Social Develop-ment Committee,” Chase-Green said.

Stabroek News was unable to get a comment from Sooba.

The Deputy Mayor informed that major companies, such as Banks DIH, which would set up outlets along the Mash route, are now being forced to pay exorbitant fees for spots as opposed to what they were paying before.  “Through-out the years up to the year 2012, [they] were… paying $225,000 [for a spot],” she said. She explained that last year, the Town Clerk raised the fee per spot to “$456,000 and this year they were asked to pay in excess of $800000 for that spot. It is a great blow… you have major companies withdrawing. What has happened is that spot has now become an economic venture for the council… to gain money and that was never the intention. The intention was to get money for immediate clean up, to pay contractors,” she asserted.

Chase-Green opined that she saw this new initiative as a way of “destroying Mashramani” as it was exploiting vendors who were trying to do business on that day, while adding that small vendors are now being asked to pay $10,000 and $15,000 for spots.

Mayor Hamilton Green also chided the Town Clerk for hiking the prices without the approval of the council. “The allocation of spots and other events related to Mash were done without the agreement or decency of discussion with the council. The Town Clerk has decided that she should double or triple the fees charged for spots along Irving Street and the Mash route,” Green stated.

He said he had met with a representative of Banks DIH who “described his discussion with the staff of the Town Clerk’s Office as unfortunate.”

Green added, “Mash is intended to facilitate maximum participation of ordinary people and the corporate community and any change as massive as 100% ought to be a matter to be discussed with the council. They don’t think it is from an individual, they think it is from the Mayor and City Council and we want to make it very clear that we were not even informed of this move and therefore did not have an opportunity to discuss the merits or demerits of such a change for which there was no notice given.”

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Facebook Live set to broadcast T20 games

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Caribbean Premier League organisers have combined with online social networking service, Facebook, to broadcast all 34 games of the new season, live to 40 countries.

default placeholder

Increased venues, franchises in pipeline as CPL seeks expansion

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,  CMC – Caribbean Premier League organisers say they will explore pushing the increasingly popular Twenty20 tournament into Asia, as well as expanding the number of franchises involved and hosting them in North American cities.

default placeholder

Grade Six results to be released Tuesday

The Ministry of Education today said that results of the National Grade Six Assessment –NGSA will be released on Tuesday, July 5, 2016.

The ambassadors group with UG Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith (seated fifth from left)

UG needs emergency $$ to prevent collapse

A conference of local and diaspora stakeholders of the University of Guyana (UG) has called on the government to provide emergency funding to the institution to reverse its “imminent collapse”.

Sattaur Gafoor in the temporary office which was set up after the fire

Gafoor’s, insurers in ‘stalemate’ over Houston Complex repairs

There is a “stalemate” between Gafoors and its insurance underwriters over how to proceed on a building that was damaged in the massive fire at the company’s Houston Complex last month but some reconstruction has started.

20160629digicel

Duo stole over $31M in electronics from Digicel

Two men were yesterday charged with stealing over $31 million in electronics belonging to Digicel Guyana Incorporated. Albert De Freitas, 27, and Basdeo Sackoon, 26, appeared before city magistrate Dylon Bess charged with stealing a total of $31,107,510 in items from the telecoms company.

default placeholder

Driver gets one year in jail for causing boy’s death

A man was yesterday sentenced to one year in jail after being found guilty of three offences, including causing the death of an 11-year-old child by dangerous driving.

default placeholder

Gov’t support for city’s financial measures to hinge on transparency, public interest

President David Granger on Monday said that central government’s support for the city’s measures to make itself financial sustainable would rest on transparency and the public’s interest.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: