Louth trader fears market plans could become a 'free-for-all'
A MARKET trader fears stall-holders will be left running the district's markets following plans to change them.
Last month, East Lindsey District Council announced plans to revitalise the markets the council runs, including standard stall sizes, canopies and pitch hire charges and relaxing competition rules.
But since a meeting in February, one market trader is getting frustrated with the lack of consultation between the council and traders.
Alan Grant who runs a greetings card stall at both Louth and Horncastle markets said: "I think traders are going to be left running the markets themselves. With the possible loss of a market superintendent, if there is a massive problem who is going to sort it out? Why should it be up to traders to call the council? There is no market in the county that does not have a market superintendent.
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"Also if any traders want to pay by cheque for their pitch who do they give it to if there is no superintendent. Not all traders are going to want to pay by monthly direct debit. If it is being passed to the Street Scene team, how much time are they going to be on the market if they also have other responsibilities."
He also questioned future holiday arrangements and the 'free for all' rule after hearing a mobile caterer who currently pitches at Louth, may not be able to trade at Mablethorpe's market due to the effect it could have on nearby similar businesses in the resort.
Mr Grant also thinks changing the stalls to a standard 10f t size will result in fewer stalls at Louth's market.
He added: "We don't want to lose the markets as it is the people's market. The traders will not be able to run it themselves. No one from East Lindsey has walked around this market to speak to traders. The last meeting was a PR disaster in my opinion and we have not yet been told when the next meeting is."
A spokesman from East Lindsey District Council said: "We are clear that there will still be a council officer at the markets each day and there will also be a contact person for traders to call if they have concerns.
"We are arranging another meeting with traders to go through the detailed proposals and to answer any further questions they have."
He added that the council is confident that all the stalls will still be able to fit in the proposed new layout.