7MB free-for-all can’t be ignored, says premier

| 16/11/2022 | 163 Comments
Cayman News Service
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

(CNS): Uncontrolled vending on Seven Mile Beach has re-emerged as cruise passengers return while beach venues catering to them have all but disappeared. Public Beach was set aside for the Caymanian public to enjoy, but local families are being crowded out by masses of cruise tourists and unregulated trading. Premier Wayne Panton has said that the vending issue on 7MB has to be addressed and that the serenity of a “beautiful public asset” was being undermined.

Speaking recently via video call on Cayman Marl Road’s online morning show, Panton said that it was a mistake to have allowed the irregular trading to start as it has obviously got worse.

“It’s a challenge that cannot be ignored,” he said, noting that when he was commerce minister in the 2013-2017 PPM administration, he had begun investigating under what authority the people were doing business on the Seven Mile Public Beach.

He said that the vendors had given him the name of one person in authority who had told them they could operate on the beach. Panton didn’t reveal the name of the person who had allegedly given them permission but expressed his concern about what had happened as a consequence.

“That is not the way to run a country. That is not the way to have a proper process or fairness in the way you would deal with business regulation,” he said. “But I wasn’t given a lot of support in trying to address it at that time, as for some people it is a politically sensitive issue,” Panton stated of his former PPM colleagues, noting that many things are politically sensitive but it was now time to deal with the situation.

“We need to find a workable solution… We have to make sure public assets are available to the public,” he said. With beach chairs down to the waterline and irregular traders selling beer, ganja and other things, people can barely walk along the shore, never mind enjoy family time on the beach itself, the premier said.

Cayman is suffering from problems that have been allowed to get worse because those in government have failed to tackle them, he said, indicating that he would find a way to deal with it.

Most of the illegal vending takes place during days of high cruise numbers. Panton has raised concerns about the impact of cruise tourism on the community as well as the conflict it presents with efforts to improve overnight guest numbers.

He stressed again that the government does not support the idea of a cruise ship pier or trying to attract excessive numbers of cruise visitors. Instead, PACT wants to improve the situation so that local operators get a better deal from the cruise lines while catering to fewer people.

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Category: Business, Crime, Retail

Comments (163)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Note than whenever Panton-PACTless Clown Car chief, Wayne Panton, talks about a crucial issue he uses the lame language of a weak and impotent leader.
    Many of the things he says warrant an eye roll followed by “Well, duhh!” as the response:
    –“It’s a challenge that cannot be ignored” (Well, duhh!)
    –Panton said that it was a mistake to have allowed the irregular trading to start as it has obviously got worse. (Well, duhh!)
    –“That is not the way to run a country” (Well, duhh!)
    –“We need to find a workable solution…” (Well duhh!)
    –“We have to make sure public assets are available to the public” (Well, duhh!)
    –“Cayman is suffering from problems that have been allowed to get worse because those in government have failed to tackle them”(Well, duhhhhhh! OMG! Seriously, dude?)

    Panton approaches issues obliquely rather than directly. He indicates that he will try to get things done. Promises, promises.
    Note that he rarely says things like, “Starting next week, I and my government are going to do X, Y, and Z as the initial steps in our plan to combat the problem, giving details of at least some of the solutions he plans to bring to bear and when.
    Wayne Panton is the poster boy for wishy-washy!
    How is bloody hell did Wayne Panton ever end up as Premiere?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Shut down on the vendor businesses on ALL beaches in Grand Cayman (Beaches on the Brac and Lttle don’t have this problem). It is a nuisance and it will discourage tourists and locals from going to the beaches. I can imagine the groups of people who are culprits and I can only imagine the haggling that these people do to the tourists. Shut them down NOW!! The beaches will be no more soon, so maybe mother nature will take care of the problem if the gov’t is to lacks to do so.

    • Just visiting says:

      100%. We are staying at the Ritz Carlton this week and couldn’t believe when we got harassed about hair braids and renting a SeaBob. Neither vendor was very likely to have been insured. It was hard to tell our daughter no, when the lady came right up to our beach chairs!!
      We expected better for $1000+/night

      • Anonymous says:

        Arrest these gypsies! They do not have a trade license and should be at work instead of hustling tourists.

        If on a work permit and working outside their intended job, deport them!

        If local, send to court and have employer notified. If unemployed then judge can direct them to WORC.

        Stop this nonsense. This is not Jamaica.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just Visiting @ 4.56

        You paid a grand a night for the Ritz???? Oh my days!!! Hope they clean your teeth and wipe your bum for that ridiculous amount.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why has DCI enforcement not gone after illegal vendors, who do not have a Trade and Business licence, that are committing criminal offences?

    • Anonymous says:

      I assume because they are corrupt. Or inept. And because, like the great majority of our civil service, they are nowhere near world class.

  4. Anonymous says:

    More talk and no action from ‘Definitely not Bruce’ Wayne Panton.

  5. watcher says:

    Simple solution. Require a business Licence for vendors, and then conduct regular sweeps to check for licences. Those who are trying to sell without them are fined $1000 or x months in jail.

    There goes more than half of them right there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm, that is already the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Trade and Business Licenses have already been legally required for decades for anyone carrying on business, including vendors, to have a valid and up-to-date license. This is not what is new.

      What is new, so to speak, would be actual enforcement of the these provisions, because, all such vendors, who are illegal trading, need to know faces criminal charges against them to could lead to a fine or imprisonment, or both.

    • No Vendors says:

      Vendors shouldn’t be allowed at all on the public beach.

      This piece of Crown land should be left as a peaceful area for residents to enjoy.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A gentleman by the name of Gurney Wayne Panton was the Minister with responsibility for Commerce from 2013-2017 (it says so on his website, https://communitycreatescountry.ky/wayne-panton/ )

    “He was subsequently appointed Minister for Financial Services, Commerce and Environment, and served in that position for one term.”

    He ignored the issue then and he’ll ignore the issue now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Back when Wayne Panton was Minister of Financial Services and Commerce, Andre Ebanks was a Senior Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Financial Services. Andre knows about these issues from back then as did Wayne.

  7. SSM345 says:

    The only party ignoring this is our Government along with the dump, the traffic, the beach erosion and vendors, the cost of living, the pension ponzi schemes, the health insurance costs, the list is endless….

    We know THEY have ignored this and let it become the monster it is because there are 30yrs+ pf Consultant Repots that WE paid for proving it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What is Panton doing about it? After a short expulsion of hot air, apparently it seems it can be ignored for a whole term in office.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Lack of enforcement of existing laws and policies.

    Is the root of most problems in Cayman.

    Life would be much different for all if enforcement became a top priority for CIG and Governor.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, but enforcement first requires ethics, basic literacy, and comprehension. Cayman’s elite count on our laws being flexibly enforced and interpreted to their advantage. That’s the dealbreaker for our Legislators, let alone the few work-grade police officers who must walk around scratching their heads about which laws are supposed to apply today, and which ones they are on instruction to overlook, if they want to keep their job and advance to another CIG pay level. DPP office clearly suffers from same corrupt affliction.

    • Anonymous says:

      11.56am Ezzard has been saying this for years.

  10. Peter says:

    ““That is not the way to run a country…” “We need to find a workable solution…” Well just what exactly did this government and the governments before them think would happen when they allowed the condos and the hotels to consume the entire SMB?? Oh wait… that would be forward thinking or foresight! A bunch or morons I’d say to be quite frank.
    Where exactly are the thousands of tourists supposedly go to visit our famous “Seven Mile Beach”? FYI… light bulb moment! You sold it! The only small piece left is what DART has massaged for you (and US). So when the bell rings for that to go….. that’ll be the end of this argument and there will be your solution.

    Note: Don’t waste mine and every other Caymanian money in building a cruise birthing as this will not be required after the bell.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If carrying on a trade or business without a Trade and Business License is illegal, then, when illegal profits are deposited into a bank account, it amounts to a money laundering offence.

    What is the Ministry of Commerce and Department of Commerce and Investment doing to address this large-scale AML exposure?

    This is not likely going to look good at the upcoming Caribbean Financial Action Task Force plenary meeting in Grand Cayman that starts on November 27, 2022..

  12. Anonymous says:

    He’s right, it can’t be ignored nor has it been by anyone who uses the beach. Perhaps what he should have said is that the government should DO THEIR JOBS and stop ignoring it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    so we have nature taking a lot of beaches and then we have cig letting people destroy what is left of the remaining beach experience.
    welcome to wonderland.

  14. Anonymous says:

    When I questioned a vendor at Public Beach, he told me that a Minister in West Bay had given him permission to conduct his lounge chair business.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder who COULD that West Bay MP be?…
      And I wonder if a charity donation fee was involved.
      What a Mickey Mouse disorganized government this is,

  15. Anonymous says:

    The Governor and Deputy Governor are ultimately responsible for enforcement of the laws. They are the ones we the people must hold accountable. Those with delegated authority ie police commissioner et al, have to be let go if they are not doing their job.

    The politicians approve the laws and the governor brings them into force if the UK doesn’t object.

    • Anonymous says:

      Failing to do your job, as a civil servant, particularly if repeated and intentional, is a crime. A serious one, at common law. Resignations are not enough. It probably past time for arrests of some of the civil servants themselves. This absolute and entrenched culture of impunity must end. It is destroying the very fabric of Cayman.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is pretty sad…i know of someone (Caymanian)that was breaking (jackhammering)rock inland in preparations for farming and was somehow stopped by the government. It has been months now to try to resolve it to no avail.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Can’t be ignored, but probably will be. Actions speak louder than words Mr Premier.

  18. Anonymous says:

    abysmal incompetent response from the premier…which would lead to his removal in any real democracy


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