ELDC rejects traders’ plea to reduce rent during work

The roadworks in Horncastle
The roadworks in Horncastle

Disgruntled market traders in Horncastle have failed with calls for a rent reduction during the town’s on-going gas main repair works.

Traders claim business has been badly hit by the seven week programme but say rental charges will go up from the end of this month - because of a seasonal increase.

Several traders claim they are already struggling to meet the daily cost of renting stalls.

They fear the situation could become even worse when contractors dig up St Lawrence Street.

They want ELDC to either reduce rental charges, or postpone the seasonal increase until after the works are completed.

Trader Alan Grant said: “A lot of the traders have a couple of stalls which already means paying £20, but we are struggling.

“From the end of this month, we will have to pay £30. The least ELDC could do is put off that increase.”

Other traders said they are worried about access to the markets.

Mark Brown, whose stall faces St Lawrence Street, said: “What is the point of me coming if no-one is going to be allowed to walk passed my stall?

“We are also worried about how we will go onto the site - if the only access is from West Street.

“I don’t mind getting here earlier, but we need to know what is going on.”

In a statement, ELDC defended the seasonal increase and said they had spoken to traders about arrangements during the works.

A spokesman said the £15 fee represented excellent value.

He added: “We met with traders a number of weeks ago when we provided details of the programme of works. Traders have the option of other pitches or not standing.”