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Anger at decision to relocate Haworth Christmas market
7:00am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
A row over Haworth’s Christmas market has split the village.
Organiser Bradford Council has decided to move it from its traditional home in Main Street to Haworth Central Park after complaints by some residents that it caused “nuisance, noise and disruption”.
But that decision has provoked a furious backlash led by traders who want it reversed in time for the weekend event on November 17 and 18.
Richard Bailey, who runs Crystals, Myths and Legends in Main Street said in just a week he had collected about 200 signatures from people wanting the market to remain in its original location.
He said: “I and many others feel Bradford Markets have made a rash decision to move this now major event into the park.”
Bradford Worth Valley Conservative Councillor Glen Miller said: “The Council officers have told me that due to operational reasons the market will be going in the park.
“Some people will be pleased about that, some will be upset. But what we must remember is that we have residents living here all year round.”
Mr Bailey has been running his store since the summer.
He said: “This market is only two days out of 365. The petition against it being in Main Street said it would cause rats and mice, but how would a market selling non-food products for two days do that?
“Why not let it be held in Main Street this year, then we can have a civilised discussion about where it should be. The decision has been taken so quickly without any proper thought.”
Mike Hutchinson, who owns a Main Street bed and breakfast, said he felt Bradford Council was “between a rock and a hard place”, but said he would prefer the market to be in Main Street.
“It creates a fantastic atmosphere,” he said. “My worry is that if it doesn’t work out in the park we could lose the market altogether and it’s a good attraction for Haworth.”
However, Glenys Greenwell, who lives in Main Street and runs a holiday cottage business, said a petition asking for the market to be moved was signed by both residents and traders.
She said: “Residents have had to move their cars for three days and it’s been chaotic with all these stalls, vans and cars using a road which isn’t wide enough.
“There’s also been noise from the generators running all day long. It’s just totally disruptive and it’s no benefit to residents whatsoever.”
Coun Miller said he and his fellow ward councillors received many complaints from residents after last year’s market.
He said: “These ranged from people saying they could not get into their front door to being fed up with hearing ‘Jingle Bells’ 14 hours a day.”
Bradford Council declined to comment.