Battle for flower power rages in Ipswich

A battle for flower power is raging today as a mother-of-two vowed to fight on despite facing the loss of her 'dream business'.Just three weeks after starting up her flower stall on Ipswich market, Louise Parker, 36, has been told pitch may have to close because she failed to apply for a change of use to her trading licenceMrs Parker said: "I was in tears when I was told it may have to close.

A BATTLE for flower power is raging today as a mother-of-two vowed to fight on despite facing the loss of her 'dream business'.

Just three weeks after starting up her flower stall on Ipswich market, Louise Parker, 36, has been told pitch may have to close because she failed to apply for a change of use to her trading licence

Mrs Parker said: "I was in tears when I was told it may have to close. I just couldn't believe it and I will be devastated if it goes. I really enjoy flowers and I have always wanted to do this."

A former air hostess Mrs Parker said she has spent the last two years preparing to set up the stall.

She said: "I went to college to learn about flowers and I found a supplier. I found two people to work for me and I took out a £20,000 loan for a van. The stall has been going really well."

Told she may have to cease trading by the borough last week, Mrs Parker has organised a 400-signature petition she hopes to present to Ipswich Borough Council's licensing committee in a bid to keep her stall.

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She said: "I have been told I must reapply for a change of use for the pitch. I was told I will be unlikely to get it as there are two other (flower) traders in the area."

However, Mrs Parker believes her stall offers different products to nearby flower traders.

She said: "I am aiming for the cheaper end of the market which is what I think some people want. There should be room for me and my ideas as well. I have put so much effort into the business it is so sad it might be taken away.

"If I am told to go I will be out of pocket and I will have to try to sell my stall."

Mrs Parker has received support from other market traders.

Michael Young, chairman of the Ipswich Market Traders co-op, which runs the market, said: "The stall is a welcome addition to the market and it should be allowed to stay. It will be a dreadful shame to lose it."

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said that Mrs Parker would have to apply for a license because her stall is on the highway.

N Should Mrs Parker be allowed to stay or are there enough flower stalls already? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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