No Emancipation Park joy - stakeholders furious as park to close early on August 1
Vendors, members of the public, and other stakeholders have expressed displeasure at the unwelcome news that Emancipation Park will be closed at 6 p.m. on Emancipation Day, a national holiday.
While there was no sign visible on the notice board inside the park, a closure notice was in the print media yesterday, expressing regret for "any inconvenience this early closure may cause".
According to a photographer who told THE STAR that he has been working at the park since its inception, the closure is likened to robbery.
POTENTIAL TO EARN
He told THE STAR: “Stop lock up the park. This is a public space. It’s just robbery all around. You can’t lock up the public place especially when they need it the most, a national holiday. The Government can't handle the country affairs. Dem nuh understand how this country run. All dem do is what de feel like.”
Another man who uses the park's earning potential to earn a living, said he heard about the closure and would like a reversal of the decision.
He told our news team: “I don’t like that and a lot of people who hear bout it a say the same thing. I have been working in the park from 2013. When yuh lock the park it mash up our thing. We don’t obligated to work outside the park, a inside we pay to work. We pay to work in here yet still the park a lock on holidays.”
A parent who was out strolling the park with her two children said:“We live nearby and we come here from time to time. On a holiday it’s a given people want to walk, chill and hang out after 6 p.m. If the public park is closed where are we to go?”
Some vendors said that holidays are when they make a little extra and they feel the powers that be left them out of the decision-making process.
“Dem never come to us and ask us how we really feel about it. Go check the park notice board, no notice. You just hear say park a close. Dem fi give us back until midnight. We can work with that,” a disgruntled vendor told THE STAR.
Our news team contacted the National Housing Trust under whose direct responsibility the park falls.
Efforts to speak with Dwayne Berbick, manager of corporate affairs, proved futile.