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Traders angry over Bingley market proposals
11:00am Monday 8th October 2012 in News
Bingley market could be closed in fewer than two months under proposals put forward by Bradford Council – sparking fury from traders.
The Council’s assistant markets officer, Richard Ambler, visited all 36 stallholders at the market on Friday to tell them it will no longer be able to afford to put up market stalls after December 31.
A letter given to the Telegraph & Argus, which was sent to the traders from Bradford Council, stated that there will be discussions between the Council and traders over:
* moving stallholders to other markets.
* the continuation of the market.
* the feasibility of stalls being erected by a third party.
When the T&A asked Bradford Council about the contents of the letter, a Council spokesman said closure of the market “is not an option” – a response described as “disingenuous” by Bingley Chamber of Trade.
Chamber of trade president Howard Martin said: “How can the Council say the closure of Bingley market is not on the cards when exactly the opposite seems to be indicated in two of the three options in the letter? Relocating traders elsewhere would inevitably mean it closing and discussions over its continuation would also suggest that they are considering closing as an option.”
He also revealed the option to pay a third party to put up the stalls had been discussed a year ago, but “there has been nothing done about it since”.
Mr Martin said: “Having had sight of this letter it seems to my mind that the death knell has sounded for Bingley market.
“This has come as a shock to the traders and is another slap in the face for Bingley.”
From his market stall, Paul Taylor, of PT Plants, said: “When they stop erecting the stalls, people will leave. There may be three or four die- hards who will carry on, but the people will stop using the market because there is nothing here for them. That will be the end.
“They are talking about the market not making much money, but why don’t they tender it out to a private contractor rather than tell us all they are not going to erect the stalls after December 31? I really think they should look into this further before making a decision.”
Fishmonger Graham Kay, who owns the Osprey Seafoods stall, said: “I am not very happy at all with the situation. This market has been around 80 years or so and I have been here for four or five. The market managers have been working hard to make it a success but someone higher up has just pulled the plug.
“My customers come week in, week out. They have become friends.”
A meeting will be held between the Council’s market staff and traders next week.
A Bradford Council spokesman said: “Closing Bingley Market is not an option on the table. In these times of cuts we have to find cheaper ways of doing things, which is why we are meeting with the traders to see how they can contribute to the costs of putting up their stalls in the future.”