Group of rejected 7MB vendors take CIG to court

| 20/02/2024 | 61 Comments
Cayman News Service
Vendors on Seven Mile Beach

(CNS): Nine small business owners who were recently refused permits to trade on Seven Mile Beach have been granted leave to apply for a judicial review. The court has stayed the enforcement notices that were preventing them from plying their wares on the beach after just 34 merchants out of 120 applicants were granted licences to trade at the popular location.

According to court documents, the vendors have accused the government of failing to provide enough guidance or details of the scoring criteria to get a licence and then failing to provide an avenue of redress for those who were refused.

The nine vendors, who were all denied a licence after years of doing business at the location, want the courts to overturn the decisions of the Public Lands Commission and declare that it acted unlawfully and in violation of the Constitution in the absence of an appeal process.

They are all Caymanians who say they have been trading in the area between two and 19 years, most for more than ten, without incident. None of them have ever been arrested and have all gone through the official government tourism training course, PRIDE.

The group of vendors said that the application process was not clear and was subjective in its language and open to interpretation. Despite being given the impression by the PLC that, as existing vendors, they would get the necessary licences, they were all sent letters last month saying that this had been denied and telling them to cease trading.

However, the vendors all say that their business on Seven Mile Beach is their only or their primary income. Several, including watersports operators and those renting beach chairs and umbrellas, had entered into contracts with other companies to provide services to cruise ship passengers as they were given no indication that the government would be restricting the number of vendors allowed to do this work.

One business owner who has been renting jet skis from the public beach for around a decade employs four Caymanian workers, who are also facing the loss of their livelihoods.

When the vendors wrote to the PLC asking for the reasons why they were not granted licences, they did not receive a response. They are arguing that the entire process is unfair and the decision to prevent them from carrying on their businesses and earning a living is unreasonable and disproportionate.

A date for the next hearing has not been confirmed. However, each of the vendors has been instructed by the court to file affidavits by 23 February about their circumstances as well as evidence of the precise nature of the promises they allege were made by the PLC regarding the grant of a vendor licence on which they relied.

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Category: Business, Small Business

Comments (61)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank God somebody is fighting for rights in Cayman. I’m sure DART and Indigo hotel will soon buy out the beach stalls and staff them with curry huts from India. cheap labor rules!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Are my eyes deceiving me, but does the jerk chicken sign in the photo basically look like someone has stolen a road sign belonging to the NRA and just put the jerk chicken sign over the top of it? In which case, can we add theft to their charges as well.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if the scruffy tw@ts cleaned up after themselves instead of making it look like Little Kingston they’d have been granted a permit. Sick to death of all the junk just tossed around on Island, if you want to live like pigs go move to a farm.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I propose a referendum on beach vendors (and cruise ship docks) is a great next step.

    Question could look like:

    Do you want vendors/higglers on any beaches in the Cayman Islands?

    Let the people decide.

  5. Anonymous says:

    These vendors need to be arrested next time they are out operating. Further the vendors allowed to be there should be removed as well.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Governor’s Beach for me this year on vacation. Until the vendors ruin that too. Won’t have to wait too long I suspect.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So, can vendors just take over the beach cabanas, meant for beach users??

    This pic indicates just that!!

  8. Dee says:

    Sad to see that a public beach has been taken over by these vendors. Went there last year for a relaxing afternoon. Between jet skis and the loud music being played it was far from that. No chance of sitting in the shade under a cabana as these were all occupied by these vendors. And they are suggesting having them on Coe Wood beach too. Wake up the powers that be. Visitors don’t want this type of crap at the beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if Kenneth or other DOT persons read this.
      But I suppose Kenny wouldn’t see anything wrong with what’s happening at the public beach, as that is what he would be doing if he didn’t have his snout in the trough . Besides these are the people whose votes keep him in office, so nothing’s going to change.
      Prove us wrong Kenneth.

  9. Anonymous says:

    SMB is still included in the list of 15 best beaches in the world. 🤨🙄🧐 This is looks like a false advertisement.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Reject them all! No beach in Cayman should allow vendors to operate.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If my aging memory serves. Wasn’t it the Jaycees (or was it the Rotary) who created public beach and gave it over to government under the condition there was to be no vendors allowed on it ever?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is absolutely worth looking into

      • Anonymous says:

        “The Leo Club of Grand Cayman undertakes many Projects, Community Service contributions and Fundraisers throughout the year. The money that is raised goes into the community per Constitution.
        Our signature project is the Public Beach Project, which was first signed on with Government in 1980.
        The original project started with CI$25,000. The beach sustained extensive damage from Hurricane
        Ivan in 2004, and the Leo Club dedicated itself to rebuilding the Public Beach to its former glory.
        Partnering with various sponsors, in 2006 the Leo Club restored the Public Beach with a cost of over CI$135,000. This was a huge project and every Leo member dedicated much time and hard work. As we are the caretakers for the beach, we do all of the required maintenance.”

    • Annonymous says:

      It was Jaycees

  12. WBW Czar. says:

    I don’t see the issue wuth food and beverage vendors. I for one do not want to go to town to get a bite the eat and a 345 whe I am trying to enjoy the beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are bays in the parking lot designated specifically for food vendors. Ask PLC why that are not being used for that purpose. Enforcement is their job.

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean to tell me that those long and wide parking bays are not for my pimped out Honda Fit? Who knew?

    • Anonymous says:

      Lots of food options along SMB. These vendors are ruining the beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      20 @ 8:09pm – Just pass by KFC and buy a bucket…or Burger King….or….. Point is, take your own food (and clean up after)!

      Vendors have Jamaicanized the beach!

    • Anonymous says:

      Take your food with you like most people do. At least you know what you’re eating.

    • Anonymous says:

      The other option is to take your own food and please remember to throw the garbage into the bin or take home with you when you leave.

    • Anonymous says:

      WBW Czar, take a dictionary with you next time.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Govt has essentially endorsed these vendors but who is ensuring quality control with the food vendors ?

    The perfect storm might only be a season away

    • Anonymous says:

      Any of these “vendors” have indemnity insurance…?
      One thing American tourists Love to do is SUE , and when they do, guess who is going to have to pay up.?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sad and a disgrace to see what is happening to this island. It will be very interest to see how this perfect storm with the new hotel guests in all will play out. I see everyone being rejected except for the developers and guests.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Permit or no permit, PLC should ban any use of the public cabanas. These were donated to be used by the Public at Public Beach.

  16. Anonymous says:

    There is now way any vendors should be set up under the public cabanas. There should be better rubbish receptacles and collection. There should be daily enforcement. There should be proof of insurances.
    There never should have been any vending allowed on any public beach. May as well vacation in Jamaica

    • Anonymous says:

      good point and its cheaper in Jamaica, so we will end up losing our tourists who decide they would rather go to a dump and pay little rather than come here but pay crazy prices.

  17. Anonymous says:

    What ground rent do they pay CIG for operating on SMB? It’s the most expensive real estate on the island.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why are they selling jerk chicken from a cabana built for public use (which includes our cruise and stay-over visitors)? Anyone?

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am absolutely SHOCKED by this! SHOCKED I say!
    Everyone knows that CIG and its politically appointed boards are absolute geniuses at developing and implementing unchallengeable points systems. Just look at Immigration – there has never been a single appeal or court case arising from their points system and clearly the same design was used in this instance.

    PS – the Cabinet approved beach vendor point system is here:

  20. Anonymous says:

    So the cabana in the picture above. For public use correct? And not for vendor use?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Wow, this JR sounds like every other one filed against CIG, lack of transparency and fairness and no due process. Another CIG failure. Lets make it easy, clear Public Beach.

  22. Anonymous says:

    “The nine vendors, who were all denied a licence after years of doing business at the location”
    That *should* read…”after years of ILLEGALLY doing business at the location.”
    If they openly admit illegally operating a business there, and want to take this into the courts, then should they not be appropriately fined and punished for their wrong doings?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are government officials not being prosecuted for their intentional refusal to enforce the law?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Ah well, you Win some and you lose some, as the old saying goes.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Get the PLC to remove that cow behind Scholars Retreat, which is on Public Land, by a DEH employee, using the DEH truck to conduct personal errands.

    Including moving a heavy water tank full of water, numerous bags of cow feed and having a non-DEH employee standing in the truck’s open back (illegal btw).

    Who foots this bill for the gas mileage and usage?

    Who pays if an accident whilst on personal use or the person in the rear gets hurt?

    Why was he removed from the CI Agricultural Society via a Extraordinary General Meeting last year?

    None of his animals were on display at the Agricultural Show this year either. He was a no show too!

    Things that make you go UMMMMMMMMMMMMM

    • Anonymous says:

      Who are you talking about, who is ‘he”..?

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a mother that lives in Scholars Retreat. Yes the cow is there. Yes we all can see this man, whoever he is, driving in between 7AM and 7:30AM to check on the cow.

      This is not safe for our children. It is not safe for our property and vehicles, should this animal get loose and cause destruction.

      The property is not Agricultural, our entire neighbourhood is not zoned Agricultural. There are covenants to prevent this type of behaviour.

      Someone do something.

      We also have a red truck and boat obstructing one half of the road. So now when we exit the complex, we risk hitting a car on the next side of the road as the truck and boat creates a serious blind spot.

      What is Cayman? Are they no enforcement for breaches of laws? Police drive by all the time, and keep driving.

  25. Anonymous says:

    There should be zero vendors on the beach…full stop. Keep these 9 away and repeal the other 20-something approved ones and keep vendors away from the damned beach.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I wonder which Minister or MP gave a gentle nudge nudge to the appropriate people at court to make this happen.

    Also “Caymanians”…. pre or post 2003 I would love to know.

  27. Anonymous says:

    If they’re Mac Kenneth Seymour or Saunders voters, I see no problem..!

    • Anonymous says:

      I presume that you referring to those who were ‘given’ permits? As I am sure you are aware vote buying has never happened in the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vendors have taken over our beach shade cabanas….really..??

  28. Anonymous says:

    There was never going to be any way to allow a preferred list of approved vendors fairly. This is why there should never be ANY beach vending.

  29. Anonymous says:

    higglers taking cig to court….zzzzzzzzzz
    welcome to wonderland.

  30. Anonymous says:

    thats what happens when you let ppl do illegal stuff for years on end without enforcing the laws….they become entitled.

    maybe it should be one of 21 questions for ppm and joey hew….why did you do nothing on this issue for your 8 years in power????

  31. Anonymous says:

    We can only hope and pray that this action will result in what should have been the case in the first place, no vendors on Seven Mile or any other public beach.

  32. Anonymous says:

    PLC isn’t enforcing the public beach access path rules, so no surprise here.



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