Backing for market expansion
IPSWICH council's move to get a private parliamentary bill to allow the expansion of the town's market was unanimously backed at its full meeting.However the decision to ban discussion about the management of the market caused anger and frustration among traders in the public gallery.
IPSWICH council's move to get a private parliamentary bill to allow the expansion of the town's market was unanimously backed at its full meeting.
However the decision to ban discussion about the management of the market caused anger and frustration among traders in the public gallery.
Mayor Penny Breakwell insisted that the council could only discuss the parliamentary bill and not the traders' concern that the council is delaying the process of appointing a full-time market operator.
They want their co-operative, which has been running Ipswich market for more than three years, to be given the licence full-time.
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But the council has only been granting temporary licences, the latest one runs out at the end of August.
They have invited tenders to run the market after then, but traders fear an outside operator could increase their rents and force them out of town.
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They have tendered to run the market themselves, but there is no sign of the council making a quick decision.
Attempts to raise the issue at the council meeting by opposition members Richard Atkins and Dale Jackson were rapidly thrown out by Mrs Breakwell.
"That was ridiculous," said market traders' spokesman Mike Young after the meeting. "There was no chance for the council to be told of our concerns.
"They all say they want to expand the market to improve it – but if there's no one wanting to come here that will be pointless.
"And the reason people don't want to come here is because there is no certainty about its operation – they don't want to commit themselves now if they don't know who's going to be running things a few months down the line."