Councillor Joey Hew has put the long-standing issue of some beach vendors continuing to operate illegally squarely on the shoulders of the civil service.
Government recently gazetted the new Public Lands Use Bill, which calls for a five-member body to regulate those beach vendors who have been operating without licences for years.
This week, the Progressives government took some heat in a local publication and on social media for not having the situation sorted by now, with some saying the bill is merely kicking the can down the road.
Councillor Hew responded on Facebook by writing the civil service is at fault for failing to act. He writes, “The failure to act lay squarely on the civil service, full stop. Everyone knows where I stood and I was attacked by social media politicians, the opposition, and others that I and the Government were killing the small man and taking away people’s living. Now here [are] the facts (if that matters in a election year) two years ago in anticipation of the pending amendments to the Trade and Business law the ministry formed a committee to create a set of guidelines and requirements under the various laws to get the vendors licensed and organized. The many stipulations have been published in the press (criticizing us of red tape) so I won’t list them but they included customer service training, CPR, and set backs from the beach to name a few.
“We completed the above and the vendors agreed, but all we needed was a civil servant to provide a cabinet paper to allow the Trade and Business board to approve licenses for vendors to operate (at a specific location) at the public beach park where we would create a vendor market. Today the issue remains the same. To give the T&B team their due respect they went ahead and issued tickets but these were thrown out by the courts,” wrote Mr. Hew.
We reached out to the lands ministry who says it offers no comment with regard to posts or comments on Facebook. It did say, “The Public Lands Use Bill is meant to provide a means of managing and/or regulating usage on all Public Lands and/or Public Accesses.”
Mr. Hew says government still plans to partner with private sector to get the market built.