The Beach and Coastal Vending Ordinance still looms large over our society in TCI
#TurksandCaicos, April 22, 2022 – Now that the dust has settled on the Beach and Coastal Vending Ordinance, what are some of the impacts and effects?
There have been reports of many beach entrepreneurs and vendors unable to maximize revenue due to their new location and feeling disenfranchised.
Law abiding Vendors in uniforms, particularly in Grand Turk, are being confined to their zones and are prohibited from walking up to Carnival grounds to locate and greet their guests, while others are allowed to roam freely across zones.
There have also been reports of business as usual with respect to random drug peddling, illegal sale of alcohol etc.
What have been even more concerning are the reports of indiscriminate targeting of select Vendors by the newly created positions of Beach patrol units. It appears the actions of a few have deviated from the true intent of the ordinance.
Some of the beach patrol units with good intentions appear to be ill informed, frustrated with the lack of adequate resources to carry out their duties and no clear focus of what needs to be accomplished.
Although some of us may view the ordinance from different lenses, I must say, there are some notable changes such as,
- There is a certain level of uniformity among Vendors in terms of chair and equipment placement that once blocked guests’ access and also created a safety hazard.
- Guests and Vendors alike now have access to restrooms at Local Village.
- Broken and dilapidated beach equipment which created such poor aesthetics has improved.
- There also appears to be less alterations taking place between beach vendors and hustlers.
Whilst some Vendors including myself are very grateful for the local village space which was designated for beach vendors and boat tour operators, some tours are being delayed due to poor signage and closed shops which gives the appearance of abandonment.
In the end, Carnival Corporation got exactly what they bargained for, no Vendors operating on public beaches in front of their property.
One would expect that based on these facts, it would prompt the policy makers to reconsider their initial assumptions that this bill was designed in the best interest of the people. With all due respect, I beg to differ.
Why is it so difficult to understand the citizens’ position on this bill? Why can’t the policy makers just admit that they might have gotten their assumptions wrong at the very start?
Albeit, I do not object the bill in its entirety, however, there was no need to create an entirely new bill since most of the ordinance already existed on the books, but lacked enforcement by the appropriate authorities.
In my opinion, I think it’s a mix of playing to a special interest group that has formed the decision of certain politicians over the past few years.
A virtue of reflection and re-analysis of this bill is what’s needed. This should include soliciting further input from relevant stakeholders on their positions, repealing of certain line items and making the necessary amendments.
By doing so, this will ensure the way the ordinance is written, it’s not stifling growth among our beach entrepreneurs or creating any barriers that will negatively impact legitimately operating businesses.
The complexity of the situation is, we must try to find a sensible middle ground in the best interest of all concerned.
Here is what we are fighting for:
- Stop letting big corporations define the rules of the game or dictate how and what is in the best interest of our country.
- Put proper docking facilities in place in Grand Turk to accommodate boat tour operators in loading zones. Until this is done, Beach patrol units should reframe from harassing operators when fueling boats or boarding guests.
- Repeal and amend the ordinance that confines Vendors to their zones, which prohibits legitimate business operators from locating and greeting their guests anywhere on public beach. In essence, this is borderline infringement on one’s rights to free speech and does not exemplify the concept of a free democratic society.
- Remove the clause which states that in order to acquire a Beach Vendors license, this has to be one’s main source of income.
- Provide proper training for the beach patrol units before placing them in such positions with overarching authority. They are not sworn law enforcement officers, operating outside of the RTCPF, and are not subject to the control of the Police Ordinance; That’s a problem.
- Requirement to have liability insurance should not be a mandate for all beach operators and should be limited to select business categories. For instance, who will set the minimum requirements? What if no company wants to take on the risk? This will again disenfranchise our people.
- Provide proper sanitation services to clean up the beach on a daily basis not just Local Village.
- Consolidation of certain fees to ease the burden on local operators.
- Make provisions in the ordinance to accommodate local land based tour and rental operators who primarily operate outside the cruise center main gate, but rely on greeting their guests on the public beach. These include golf cart rentals, tram tours, horseback riding, car rentals etc.
Make no mistake about it, despite the fact the bill has been passed, our continued voices are not futility in error, it’s a fight to preserve our rights, not only for ourselves but for the future of our next generation.
Therefore, we are counting on both political parties to bring this matter back to the HOA, either in the form of a bill or private members motion.
Concerned citizen of Grand Turk
Wal Registre’s Impressive Rise at BTC
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: When Wal Registre started his career at Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC) on October 25, 1997 as a bartender, little did he know that 25 years after, he would have risen to the post of payroll administrator within the same organisation.
The Raymond Gardiner High School graduate was always good at accounting and mathematics and had the dream of excelling in the hospitality industry in an area that would best fit his passion and academic strength.
Having been promoted to bar supervisor in 1999, Wal’s vision for growth was still active as he recognised that being a team member at Beaches Turks and Caicos would allow him to excel beyond his comfort zone. Following the completion of a number of courses with the Sandals Corporate University (SCU), he transitioned to the Cost Control unit in the Accounting Department as the cost control clerk.
Wal pointed out that his ability to grow within the company was largely due to his commitment to excellence. The SCU courses that were offered gave him the added training needed to build on what he was able to learn on the job and from his mentors.
“At BTC, training is very important to each employee. There are many opportunities for professional development and with the guidance from the Learning and Development team, and the leaders within the company, team members can truly grow,” Registre added.
One of Wal’s colleagues, Janet King, noted, “Wal’s commitment serves as an example to every team member here. His ability to grow from an entry level position to where he is now shows that everyone can succeed once they put their minds to it.”
While expressing his commitment to his profession, Wal’s dedication and discipline are traits that he values and chooses to pass on to those he leads. In sharing his advice to younger professionals seeking to enter the industry, he noted, “this organisation believes in quality work life balance that will allow each team member valuable time with family. This period helps me to maintain a bond with my family and explore the world. Training within this company is available for everyone and the ability to grow professionally is dependent on each person having the right attitude to grow.”
Header:Wal Registre, Payroll Administrator at Beaches Turks and Caicos makes final checks as he goes through documents at his desk at the resort
Insert: Anna Francis, Accountant in the Finance department at Beaches Turks and Caicos and Wal Registre, Payroll Administrator at the resort pause from discussing work related items to smile for the camera
Special Needs Unit Students at Thelma Lightbourne Primary School recognised by BTC
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands – Parents and students from the Special Education Unit at the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School were recently recognized by the Beaches Turks and Caicos team during a special session at the institution as part of autism awareness activities.
Children’s Activities Manager Fedeline Julien shared, “educating students, parents, teachers and other adults about the best practices of dealing with children with autism is needed especially in our homes and schools. Children who are autistic do things differently and should be treated with patience and care.”
Robin Cox Foster, principal of the school said, “the partnership between Beaches Turks and Caicos and our school is always welcome. As the only resort on island that is an autism certified centre, they were readily available to share with our students and their parents. The involvement of the Sesame Street character, the presentations from the Kids Camp team to the parents allowed those present to appreciate their roles in being change agents for autism.”
Caring for a child with special needs was highlighted as an opportunity to create a closer bond between child and parent/caregivers.
Walter Moore, who has a son on the spectrum shared, “being able to deal with the many challenges of a special needs child will assist parents in being more patient and creative in how they care for a child. My son and I are best friends. He is comfortable talking with me about anything and I have to learn how to respect his likes and dislikes and create an environment that makes him happy.”
Beaches Turks and Caicos’ Kids Camp is an Advanced Certified Autism Centre which ensures that team members have the required knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to all children. The resort offers age-specific programmes for infants, toddlers, pre-teens and teens.
Header: Tanya Swann (left), Director of Sales, Groups and Conventions at Beaches Turks and Caicos introduces the team of volunteers who were present while Robin Cox-Foster, school principal looks on
1st Insert: Walter Moore (left) Beaches Turks and Caicos team member shares a moment with his son (right) and Sesame Street character Sesame Street
2nd Insert: Some members of the Beaches Turks and Caicos Sandals Foundation team share a moment at the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School during a presentation to the institution
CARPHA Plans Activities for Caribbean Nutrition Day and Caribbean Nutrition Awareness Month
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 1 June 2023. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) joins the Caribbean Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians (CANDi) and countries in the Caribbean region in commemorating Caribbean Nutrition Day (1 June) and Caribbean Nutrition Awareness Month (June) 2023.
Caribbean Nutrition Day and Awareness Month are annual regional nutrition education and information campaigns that aim to promote healthy eating and active living in populations using a promotion-based approach. To kick-start the month, Caribbean Nutrition Day will be observed under the theme: “Let’s Nourish to Flourish…Your Mental Health Matters.” It was first celebrated on 1 June 2004 and became a month-long observance in response to the growing recognition of nutrition in disease prevention and health promotion. Caribbean Nutrition Awareness Month provides an opportunity to promote and encourage health seeking behaviours on a range of topics and across multiple sections of the population.
“CARPHA has planned a series of activities to commemorate these campaigns, and to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition. This includes the launch of a Diabetes Nutritional Management Toolkit. A social media campaign will also be rolled out to engage the public on nutrition and mental health and nutritional management of NCDs in the region,” said Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director at CARPHA.
The observance of Caribbean Nutrition Day originated from the former Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI); one of five institutions subsumed under the Caribbean Public Health Agency.
- Fifth Meeting of the CARPHA Six Point Policy Package (6-PPP) Inter-Agency Technical Committee (ITC) on Monday 12 June 2023.
The 6-point policy package is a framework instituted in 2017 to promote healthier food environments and food security to address childhood obesity (and non-communicable diseases) through joint policy action. The 6-PPP includes policy recommendations to address: (1) Food Labelling; (2) Nutrition Standards and Guidelines for Schools and other Institutions; (3) Food Marketing; (4) Nutritional Quality of Food Supply; (5) Trade and Fiscal Policies; and (6) Food Chain Incentives. The ITC comprises of CARICOM institutions and other agencies with responsibility for economic and social sectors to collectively monitor and coordinate the implementation of the 6-PPP.
- Webinar to launch the Diabetes Nutritional Management Toolkit on Tuesday 13 June 2023.
The toolkit – comprising of booklets, posters, flyer and recipes for both the health care professional and person with diabetes – will standardise the nutritional management of diabetes in primary care in the Caribbean. The toolkit was developed in 2022 following a Rapid Needs Assessment of Nutrition Services in primary health care in a representative 10 Member States. This initiative was funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) through the CARPHA-led project “Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to Prevent and Control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean”.
Click here to register in advance for this Webinar
CARPHA will also disseminate an article “Nutrition for Good Mental Health”. The article will highlight the essential role nutrition (nutrients) play in the functioning of the nervous system and key elements of the diet to ensure good mental health.
We encourage persons to follow CARPHA’s social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – for updates and pertinent information on nutrition for good mental health and NCDs management.
CARPHA will also be supporting its Member States in their celebration of Caribbean Nutrition Day and Awareness Month.
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