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Market climbdown by council

PUBLISHED: 19:54 20 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:24 03 March 2010

TODAY'S decision to allow the market to operate three days a week on the Cornhill represents a major climbdown for Ipswich council.

It's one forced on the borough by the strength of public opinion in the town - channelled through the Evening Star's Save Ipswich Market campaign.

TODAY'S decision to allow the market to operate three days a week on the Cornhill represents a major climbdown for Ipswich council.

It's one forced on the borough by the strength of public opinion in the town – channelled through the Evening Star's Save Ipswich Market campaign.

Just a month ago, on January 22, economic development spokesman Philip Smart told the Evening Star that legal problems prevented it from moving there.

And there was not enough space for it either, he said.

At the same time several officials from Civic Centre – apparently not with official backing – were busy bad-mouthing the market.

The traders themselves were told by an officer: "Quite frankly, people in Ipswich don't care about the market."

That was quickly proved wrong. The Evening Star launched our "Save our Market" with an online poll on our website.

That attracted our biggest response ever, with more than 1,000 hits – each from different computers.

We published a coupon in the paper – more than 800 of these were returned.

And a petition we printed for market traders attracted well over 3,000 signatures.

With well over 5,000 people registering their support for the market, and vital elections coming up in May, the council has been forced into a near-total u-turn.

It had said that the market could move on to the Cornhill on Saturdays only – but that acknowledged the principle that it could move there.

The traders held out for permission to operate on the market three days a week – and yesterday the council's executive gave them the go-ahead for that.

Today the same council's planners are considering the same proposal – the traders look set to be on the Cornhill by March.

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