…over stall allocationThe Bartica United Youth Development Group (BUYDG) is threatening legal action against the Bartica Mayor and Town Council (BM&TC) if it does not address the lack of transparency in the process it utilised for the allocation of stalls in the commercial district.The BUYDG said that the Council recently constructed seven stalls at the Bartica Market and it displaced a number of vendors who were supposed to be given priority when it came to allocating the stalls. However, family and friends of those on the Council was given first priority.“It is unfortunate enough that applicants for seven new stalls recently built by the Bartica Mayor and Town Council feel betrayed and short-changed that a transparent process was not used in the issuance of these commercial locations. It is even more heart-breaking to see that those issued these very stalls are either family members or very close to some of those seated on the Council,” the Group said in a statement.The BUYDG explained that it became interested in the stall allocation process after a differently abled vendor, Winston James, was denied a stall. It added that James has been vending outside the Bartica Market for over two years and applied for one of the stalls but was denied.“Like other vendors, Mr James applied for one of the new stalls constructed by the Bartica Council. He had been vending with an umbrella and a small table in front of the Bartica Market for more than three years and pays a fee for doing so. Mr James is disabled. He is in need of a hip replacement surgery and as such, is not able to move around much and uses crutches. Vending has been his main income and with that he cares for his family.”BUYDG President Micah Williams related that he personally took James to the Mayor’s Office to apply for the stall and was told that all the requirements were met.“The Mayor declared that persons who were occupying spots and relocated to accommodate the building of the stalls would be given first preference to acquire the stands in the same manner that they were occupying their spots. Lo and behold, Bartica residents saw persons known to them winning these stalls. Persons occupying the spots were not given first preference and to date, applicants are unaware as to how those “friends and family members” of Councillors won those stalls,” Williams said.“The BUYDG will be seeking a meeting with the BM&TC to have this matter addressed. If the matter is not addressed at this level, the BUYDG will waste no time in seeking a High Court ruling that the issuance of the stalls were illegal and to have them reversed,” he added.