All options kept open for Ipswich market

MARKET traders in Ipswich were today promised that all options would be open at the end of their six-month trial period on the town's Cornhill.Council leader Peter Gardiner warned there was no guarantee they would be able to remain in the town centre.

MARKET traders in Ipswich were today promised that all options would be open at the end of their six-month trial period on the town's Cornhill.

Council leader Peter Gardiner warned there was no guarantee they would be able to remain in the town centre.

But he also said the traders would be able to remain on the Cornhill if the six-month trial was a success.

"This isn't the kind of situation where you have a six-month trial but there is an expectation that things will continue indefinitely," he said.

"Towards the end of the period, we will all take a good look at the situation – from the point of view of the traders, the council and the people of Ipswich as a whole.

"If it is clear that the market has been successful there, we would not be forcing it to move away," he said.

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Traders had been concerned after a meeting with borough officials yesterday.

"They told us whatever happened, we would have to leave the Cornhill and come back to the Civic Centre site after six months," said the chairman of the market traders' co-operative, Mike Young.

"We were told it was not a trial period – it was a fixed period and no matter what happens we would not get any extension.

"The traders were left feeling very angry, we felt we had been spun a line to get the councillors over a difficult election period."

Mr Young was relieved to hear Mr Gardiner's assurance. He accepted that they had not been given an open-ended commitment.

"But we need to know if the trial is successful, as we are determined to make it, then we can stay here," he said.

Mr Gardiner regretted any confusion that had arisen after yesterday's meeting.

"I'm sorry if they got the impression that there was no question of them remaining there.

"The clear intention of the councillors was that they should have six months on the Cornhill and then the whole situation can be reviewed.

"If they are successful and come back with a new application towards the end of the six months, I am sure they will be listened to sympathetically," he said.

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