Rain

Rain

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Bury St Edmunds: Council to rethink plan to ban market pitches for political groups

08:23 04 September 2014

Bury town centre on market day.

Bury town centre on market day.

Archant

The rights of political or pressure groups to express their freedom of speech by holding market stalls could end up being protected after a row over a council policy came to a head.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council was looking to change market licence regulations which would have meant that political parties as well as groups such as the Fawcett Society would have been banned from having a stall.

But on Tuesday the borough council’s cabinet decided to defer a decision on the regulation following opposition to the proposal.

The council is now looking at how it can balance the needs of the market traders, while providing areas where pressure groups and political parties can best be supported in exercising their right to freedom of expression within the town centres.

Ahead of the cabinet meeting, Avril Dawson, chairwoman of the Bury St Edmunds Group of Amnesty International, had written to Alaric Pugh, St Edmundsbury’s cabinet member for economic growth, expressing strong concerns about the original proposal.

She wrote: “We understand the rationale for this proposal is that the market should be reserved as a ‘concourse for buyers and sellers’. However is not the exchange of ideas and views of equal importance to the buying and selling of goods?”

She added: “It seems particularly inappropriate for the council to consider such a measure in a year when it is commemorating the 800th anniversary of the meeting of the barons at the Abbey prior to the Magna Carta.”

Others to express opposition to the move include Haverhill borough councillor Gordon Cox, who said at Tuesday’s meeting: “The borough council, as a public authority, cannot impose restrictions that contravene the Human Rights Act articles 10, 11 and 14.”

Darren Old, chairman of the Bury St Edmunds branch of the National Market Traders’ Federation (NMTF), said: “Political parties or pressure groups have no place on a market where the majority of people are selling their wares and services.”

Mr Old, who is also a member of the executive board of the NMTF, added the confrontation political or pressure groups could cause as people expressed different views was also a concern.

“The only reason these groups are coming to Bury on market day is because the market creates the footfall. If they really want to express their feelings or views there’s five other days they can do that,” he said.

On the reasons for the rethink, Mr Pugh said: “We have had one letter and a small number of emails, but we do want to ensure that all possible concerns have been taken into account and we deliver the best achievable solution.

“I expect the report to be completed as soon as possible. Deferring this single clause about the relationship of non-trading activity to our markets has enabled the full new market regulations to come into force to benefit everyone after a huge amount of hard work by traders, officers and my predecessors. Our markets could be the best in Britain.”

A decision should be made before Christmas on the regulation relating to non-trading activity by political parties or pressure groups on the markets.

The other new market licence regulations - which cover everything from the disposal of litter, to health and safety and the conduct of the traders themselves - were approved at the cabinet meeting.

2 comments

  • These people are not wanted, Market day is for local people and traders to enjoy not a platform for anything else.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk and Proud

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

  • Personally I think they should be banned from 'exhibiting' on streets altogether. They are entitled to their views of course, but you cannot walk down the main street in Ipswich for example on a Saturday without someone banging on about some crazy cause or another. They sometimes get upset when you do not respond or show interest, and they are frankly just annoying the rest of us who have come to town to get on with our own business.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Boy

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A man police would like to speak to following three alleged fraud incidents in Ipswich

Suffolk police officers have released an image of a man they would like to speak to following three incidents of alleged fraud in Ipswich.

Wherstead Road

Drivers experienced long delays in and out of Ipswich this evening while safety checks were made to the railway bridge in Wherstead Road.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Passenger satisfaction levels in the region’s rail operator have dropped in key areas including value for money and punctuality, a new poll has revealed.

Mark Bee and George Nobbs at Beccles bridge in 2013 - both former leaders voted against the devolution deal.

Suffolk’s councils have done their bit on approving the government’s devolution proposals – but the decision on whether to proceed remains up in the air.

The St Elizabeth Hospice Bubble Rush.will take place on August 28 at Christchurch Park.

Today is the last chance to get early bird discount for Suffolk’s first ever Bubble Rush.

The Orwell Bridge

The Orwell Bridge was closed for a short time this morning because of a police incident.

Damage to Matthew Bonner's car

An Ipswich man whose car was broken into earlier this year has criticised police after officers closed an investigation into the crime.

Stock image

Police have identified the possible location of a rape in Hadleigh last week.

Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference at St Ermin's Hotel in London, where he formally announced that he will not enter the race to succeed David Cameron in Downing Street. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 30, 2016. See PA story POLITICS Conservatives Johnson. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

It was a day that started with promise for the former London mayor and Conservative leadership frontrunner.

Zoella is a firm favourite with teens.

You could be forgiven for thinking that PewDiePie, Zoella, CutiePieMarzia and ThatcherJoe are characters from a new Cbeebies programme, but they are not. These are the rock stars and movie heroes of the current teenage generation.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24