Mayor Responds To Concern Over Lease Agreement For Vendors – St. Lucia Times

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Castries Mayor Geraldine Lendor-Gabriel has responded to Castries arcade vendors’ concerns regarding a new lease arrangement.

Saint Lucia Craft and Dry Goods Vendors Association President Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac said the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) had yet to consult the vendors or the association.

Isaac said the CCC asked vendors to sign the new agreement without explanation or allowing them to seek advice.

As a result, the association President said after signing the lease, some vendors realised that some conditions were ‘draconian‘.

He disclosed that some vendors have occupied their booths in the vendors’ arcade in Castries for close to three decades and believe a two-year agreement would not benefit them.

“Some of them already have arrears,” Isaac observed.

Nevertheless, he indicated that under the new lease agreement, incurring arrears within three months could result in the revocation of a booth, as would failure to meet the lease conditions.

Among other conditions, the lease agreement  prohibits tenants from playing loud music, subletting, having individuals use illicit drugs, and extending their vending units.

In response to the Vendors Association President’s concerns, the Castries Mayor declared that a lease does not require consultation with any association.

“We have gone to our clients, which is our right,” Geraldine Lendor-Gabriel observed.

She said the CCC would address issues clients may have.

“Giving the people the lease at this time is critical. It means we are ensuring that those who are operating in the facility are the ones with the leases and if you have been there as we begin to do upgrade work through the GPH programme persons in that facility will actually have a lease,” the Mayor explained.

“It is not about the lease. It is about outstanding payments and those who have outstanding payments must come and ensure that they do what is right,” Lendor-Gabriel stated.

“We forgave millions of dollars of debt to vendors who were in those facilities,” she recalled.

The lease agreement requires tenants to pay roughly $140 a month.

“You can’t be in somebody’s facility and don’t want to sign an agreement,” Lendor-Gabriel noted.

She said if an egregious clause existed, it was necessary to point it out.

Nevertheless, the Mayor told reporters that the CCC had no reason to insert such a clause because it had a vested interest in supporting the vendors.

She said leases have always been in place.