Board members of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce continued their dialogue with the Mayor of Castries, Peterson Francis, last Wednesday. Also present at the meeting was Deputy Mayor Anselma Calderon.
Discussions continued on the need to revitalize and beautify the City of Castries.
The Mayor updated the Chamber on progress so far on some of the critical items planned. In particular, the Mayor said that the process of recruiting people to fill vacancies in the City Constabulary was well advanced.
The spate of robberies which have occurred in the central business district has been placed high on the agenda insofar as seeking the most appropriate remedy. The Chamber is pleased to note the collaborative stand taken by the Chief of Police in working with the business community and the City Council.
The Council advised that it continues to be concerned over the indiscriminate vending on city sidewalks which poses serious safety risks for children, pedestrians and drivers. The issue of the unhygienic conditions under which fish is sold on the side of the road was also raised. The Chamber highlighted the need to work towards a plan to provide the vendors with safe and improved working conditions while addressing the hazards of vending on the sidewalks.
The Mayor advised that the introduction of parking meters on city streets was also high on the Council’s agenda and discussions were ongoing with the relevant government ministries. The Chamber also agreed to work closely with the City Council and the Ministry of Human Services in addressing the vagrancy situation and a meeting will be convened shortly to chart the way forward. Already the Chamber has broached discussions with the Permanent Secretary in that Ministry, Mr. Donovan Williams, and as early as next week a meeting will be held to discuss this important issue.
The Chamber offered its support for the efforts at improving the functionality of the city. In that regard, the Chamber strongly recommended that the Ministry of Urban Renewal be engaged to participate and guide the plans for the city’s development.
Executive Director of the Chamber, Brian Louisy, thanked the Council for maintaining the dialogue with the Chamber and agreed to liaise on an ongoing basis with the Town Clerk, Vaughn Louis- Fernand.