MARKET traders in Horncastle are calling for an urgent meeting with East Lindsey District Council in a bid to solve a long-running dispute which they claim is threatening to put them out of business.
The News revealed last month that traders were unhappy about a planned increase in rent and what they called “poor communication” by the council.
ELDC defended its policy and has now written to traders outlining a number of initiatives and explaining the reasons behind the rental increase and a new system for payments.
Alan Grant, who runs a card stall on Horncastle Market, said: “We want a face-to-face meeting with the council to get all this sorted for once and for all.
“We are fed up with all the arguments. I’ve spent 30-odd years building up a business and I don’t want to lose it. Other traders feel the same.
“It is tough enough trying to make a living in a recession. All we want to do is turn up, put our stalls up, do a days’ hard graft and then go home.
”We don’t want all this red tape and being told you can do this but you can’t do that.”
Mr Grant claims he is one of several traders who are considering pulling out of markets after revealing his takings had plummeted to £12 on a recent market day at Horncastle.
He added: “We want the markets to thrive. Why wouldn’t we? The more people who use them the better for everyone, including the council.
“It’s not just about the increase in rent although there are already loads of empty stalls at Horncastle and Louth markets when the rent is £15.
“By putting that up to £18, I don’t see how the council suddenly thinks they are going to attract more traders.
“There are other important issues but I don’t want to say too much before we have the meeting.”
It is believed traders are concerned about proposals to change the system for paying rents and proposals for green-and-white canopies to be fitted to all stalls.
Mr Grant said the council had held previous meetings with the National Association of British Market Traders and the National Market Traders Federation, but claimed local traders were not invited.
Councillor Craig Leyland, portfolio holder for the economy on ELDC said: “We have writen to market traders but we would be happy to sit down with them and discuss any concerns they might have.
“They (the market traders) have their own issues and I am aware a proposed increase in rents is one of them.
“As a council, we have to make difficult decisions in difficult times.
“However, all we are trying to do is set up a system where we should be better able to manage and promote the markets. Everyone should benefit from that.”
- CRICKET: Sri Lankan stars impress for Woodhall Spa - at the double
- Motorist fined for speeding offence
- VIDEO: WOOLWICH MURDER INVESTIGATION: Police raid Lincolnshire home
- Emotional return for airmen to RAF Coningsby
- OFFER: Free Sunglasses at Original Factory Shop in Spilsby, Mablethorpe and Horncastle
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Horncastle
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 31 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North