Angry market traders hit out at council
FURIOUS traders have published a blistering open letter to Ipswich Council accusing it of abandoning the people who saved the market.The stallholders are angry that the council is advertising for a full-time market operator to take over and encourage its expansion along other streets near the Cornhill.
FURIOUS traders have published a blistering open letter to Ipswich Council accusing it of abandoning the people who saved the market.
The stallholders are angry that the council is advertising for a full-time market operator to take over and encourage its expansion along other streets near the Cornhill.
They have written to the council's economic development officer Alison Watkinson saying that it was their efforts – backed by the Star – which led to the market's move to the centre of the town.
"If it was not for the co-operative being formed, involving the Evening Star and generating massive support from the public for moving, we feel sure that that market in Ipswich would now be finished – with no help from Ipswich council," it says.
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The chairman of the traders' co-operative, Mike Young, said the problem was the uncertainty surrounding the future management of the market which made it difficult to attract new stallholders.
"We are here until August next year – but after then no one knows," he said.
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"It makes it very difficult to attract new stallholders if there's no certainty for the long or even the medium term.
"I know people who want to come here on some days, but won't leave their pitches in Braintree or Bury if they think they might be out on their ear this time next year."
Mr Young felt the track record of the stallholders should encourage the council to retain the current management.
"We took over the management of the market in 2001, by next August we will have been running it for three years and the council accepts it is in a far better state now than it has been for ages.
"Surely we've done enough to be given the lease on a full-time basis."
The council decided to put the market operation out to tender when it began moves to expand it outside the Cornhill – up Lloyds Avenue and down Princes Street and Queen Street.
Officials told the Star that an expanded market could need a full-time professional operator, but the current co-operative running it would certainly not be excluded from the bidding.