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No place for illegal markets
Bradford shops have enough on their plate without having to cope with illegally-operating markets drawing custom away from the city centre shops.
The Council has quite rightly come down hard on two such markets in Bradford, warning them they must quite literally shut-up shop before Monday, or it will be a matter for the courts.
No-one wants to crack down on the entrepreneurial spirit, but there are processes in place for anyone who wishes to open up a business, and these must be adhered to for very good reasons.
The retail landscape must be a level playing field as far as the rights and permissions to trade go. Those shops and traders who have gone through the proper channels to obtain the correct planning authorisation to establish their businesses feel quite rightly aggrieved when rival businesses completely circumvent these channels to just set up as and when they wish.
Those behind the illegal markets bemoan the fact that they have put a lot of resources into their businesses. But with just a little more care – ensuring the proper planning permission and licensing authorisation was in place – they could be useful additions to Bradford retail rather than finding themselves facing the heavy hand of enforcement.
It is only right that the Council takes appropriate action to protect the interests of those businesses who have gone about things the right way. Bradford faces huge challenges in enticing shops to set up in the city centre and improve the prospects for both shoppers and traders, and the activities of businesses who operate without permission in place are merely pulling custom away from those who have bothered to do things above board.