The demolished Dread Shop structureDemolition of “Dread shop”In a press release by the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) on Friday, it was indicated that the demolition of the 48-year-old business known as “Dread Shop” at the Stabroek Square, Georgetown, did not breach any court order.According to the release, the “Dread shop” was an unlawfully erected formation, as it fell within the district of the “council area” as stated under the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01. It was stated that numerous reports were made to the M&CC, alleging the involvement of immoral activities being permitted at and around the entity.The M&CC’s statement highlighted that notice to vacate the premises was given to the “Dread Shop’s” owners by the council in ample time. It was then the proprietors began engaging the courts without informing Council. Thus the Mayor and City Council contended they were never restrained by any court order, since they were not involved in any proceedings pertaining to this matter.It was further highlighted that had the council been aware of an existing court order against the removal of the illegal structure; they would have abided by the judicial orders.Proprietor of the business Anthony Forde’s lawyer Nigel Hughes however, had accused City Hall of disobeying the court order. According to Hughes, the dispute over the “dread shop” is presently ongoing in the Court.“This has got to be the most outrageous act I’ve seen in a long time because [the matter is] actively going to mediation on the recommendation of the Court of Appeal and then they failed to turn up at the mediation and the Court of Appeal still has conduct of this matter and they believe they can disregard this act,” Hughes posited.The attorney explained that after he called the City Engineer on Thursday afternoon, Town Clerk Royston King then confirmed that demolition had indeed happened.“I believe that where people decide that they are not going to obey the law of the land and where they are not going to obey the outcomes of the court proceedings to deal with this particular piece of property then we are in a very dangerous state,” the attorney had posited.Hughes had further said: “There is a dispute right now between Mr Patterson’s Ministry and the City Council about who actually owns this square because it was donated by the Russell family [while] the Ministry [of Public Infrastructure] claims it is their territory and the city council claims it is their territory.”Meanwhile, also slated for demolition is the nearby “Island Snackette” which has been in operation for a similar time.Proprietor Abeola Fung told this newspaper that her family has invested “millions of dollars” to improve the standard of the business. They claimed that City Hall said their structure will also be torn down. Fung further related that some years ago City Hall had approved a plan for rehabilitation works to their structure.City Hall has been relocating vendors and stall owners in a move it said will see a transformation of the Stabroek Market Square. While some vendors have welcomed the change, others have protested the short-shrift initiatives of City Council, viewing them as “unfair” and “uncaring”.
A pensioner of East Ruimveldt, Georgetown, on Friday appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts after he was charged with assaulting two persons.Cyril Benjamin denied the allegations after the charges were read to him by Magistrate Leron Daly.It is alleged that on May 13, 2018, he used threatening language to Jermaine Frank and Constance Payne. He was released on $15,000 bail for each offence.Additionally, the other parties were cross charged and released on $25,000 bail.The matter was adjourned to June 11.
The 32 fire personnel attached to the Santa Cruz Fire Station in St. Elizabeth are now serving the public from more comfortable and modern facilities. The fire station was recently refurbished at a cost of $14.7 million, through funding provided by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, with contributions from other public and private sources. Addressing the re-dedication ceremony for the building on Thursday, Acting Deputy Superintendent in charge of the fire station, Andrew Russell, informed that the upgrading, which started in January of this year, was carried out within budget. He said the scope of the project included demolition and removal of the existing timber roof, windows and doors; construction of new officers dormitory; expansion of existing kitchen space; building of reinforced concrete slab roof; repainting of the station building; complete rewiring of electrical network; and installation of new floor tiles, windows and doors, and plumbing fixtures. He said the work done was “the culmination of an important and eagerly awaited project, which will enrich the lives of the firefighters based there, boost their morale, enhance the delivery of service to the wider community and add value to the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s assets”. Minister of State for Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, in his address at the ceremony, said it is appropriate that the refurbished facility is being opened during Local Government Month. He congratulated the firefighters for taking the initiative to start some of the work themselves, which he said, served as an inspiration for other stakeholders to support the project. “While funding was largely provided by the Ministry, through the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, I must acknowledge the input of those who partnered with us. This kind of partnership is a practical demonstration of our theme for Local Government and Community Development Month – Local Government on a mission together: Building better communities, he said. He gave a commitment that the Ministry “will do everything” to see to the completion of other necessary elements, such as security and landscaping, and urged the firefighters to take care of the facility.