Vendors at the Scarborough Market say they are not impressed with the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) handling of the reopening of the Scarborough market.
It is due to reopen later this month—November 22- 24.
They told Guardian Media they felt the THA is using “hardworking people as political tools” as the market was completed a while now, but the THA waited until the upcoming elections are around the corner.
The vendors were responding to a statement by Secretary in the Division of Agriculture Food Production and Fisheries Hayden Spencer at this week’s post-Executive Council media briefing.
He said the market would be commissioned in “the next few weeks.”
Renovations at the Scarborough Market began in July of 2018. According to the Secretary, “the total repair costs $36 million.”
He said the handover was delayed because of the number of infrastructural upgrades done to make the facility COVID-19 compliant.
However, vendors said they have grown accustomed to being pushed around by the THA and they have now chosen to “just go with the flow.”
A vegetable vendor, who gave his name as David, from Pembroke, said he is not convinced.
“At one time they are saying that they doing COVID-19 upgrades now we moving in a few weeks, with no other information in terms of who going where, when and in what order—elections around the corner and that is just politics.”
A clothing vendor from Mt Pleasant said she hopes the vendors aren’t moved before year-end.
“We are happy about the upgrades. However, how the THA operates we will have teething problems. We haven’t heard anything official yet, but to move during the Christmas period will be some problems. They should take their time and do things properly.”
Spencer said the newly refurbished space would accommodate 242 stalls—53 more than before the renovations. The refurbished market also includes accommodations for administrative staff, Spencer said.