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Market customers three day Cornhill call

PUBLISHED: 16:02 13 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:21 03 March 2010

"GIVE them three days a week" - that's the call today from customers using Ipswich Market.

A minor triumph has already been achieved since The Evening Star launched its Save Ipswich Market campaign with the council's agreement that it can move to the heart of town on the Cornhill Saturdays.

"GIVE them three days a week" – that's the call today from customers using Ipswich Market.

A minor triumph has already been achieved since The Evening Star launched its Save Ipswich Market campaign with the council's agreement that it can move to the heart of town on the Cornhill Saturdays.

But stall holders and their loyal customers are continuing to push for three days in the centre of town.

The market has had a variety of locations in the years since the Corn Exchange was converted in to an entertainment venue. Temporary homes on sites waiting to be developed and in more recent times on the Civic Centre staff car park.

Time has come for a permanent secure base from which to trade.

Planning officers and traders met this week to discuss issues relating to proposals for a move to the Cornhill.

A council spokesman said: "We believe we have reached a broad agreement on layout of stalls and obviously there is only limited space there."

He said that the development and control committee would be dealing with the issues and it would report back to traders later this month.

Emily Carter, uses the market often and said that one day on the Cornhill and the other two days on the Civic Centre car park is "too much messing about."

She said: "You would have to think about what day it was before knowing what direction to head. It's a lot of shilly-shallying about and it's not good enough. I would like to see the market in the town centre all the trading days. Other towns have central markets, so why not Ipswich?"

The stall holders have been gathering a petition and there's been no shortage of customers eagerly putting their signatures to the constantly growing list of names.

In addition to 2,516 names on 85 petition sheets urging the council to Save Ipswich Market, The Star has received 863 votes on its web site, 697 saying "yes" the market should be saved with 166 voting against the campaign.

And this is not all. So determined that the town's market – a centuries-old tradition – should not only be saved but moved to the Cornhill, campaign coupons have flooded in to The Star offices each day.

To date there has been 698 votes in favour of the market being moved to central Ipswich and just two against.

All market stalls have been collecting petition signatures and traders' spokesman, Mike Young – who runs the acclaimed Young's fresh fish stall, said he was amazed at how quickly the names are being added.

"There is massive support to keep the market and now the campaign has stretched to running it on all trading days on the Cornhill.

"It is no good having it in the centre of town just one day. This site (Civic Centre) is a wind tunnel and we have had customers say they are sometimes frightened to come here on windy days.

"Today I even considered moving the whole stall round to face the other direction to make it safer. We have to go to the Cornhill on all our days," he added.

Two of his regular customers, Gee Peto and Mrs Harvey, both of Ipswich were right behind a total move to the Cornhill.

"Look at Bury market," said Mrs Harvey. "That is in the centre of the town and it has wonderful variety. People have supported it for years."

Mrs Peto said that if the borough council could approve a funfair spanning the whole of the Cornhill area as it is doing this week, then there was no justifiable reason why the market cannot do likewise.

As to Bury market, which is a regular hive of activity, Mr Young said that several comments have been made to him about what would happen there if St Edmundsbury Council was to take the same attitude to that of Ipswich council.

"Bury council is shrewd. It knows the market is a big attraction being central. If they were to move it a few hundred yards out of the centre of town it would kill it. We want three days at the Cornhill," he added.

Adrian Sharpe runs the grocery stall – probably the largest on Ipswich market.

He wholeheartedly supports a move to the Cornhill but is concerned that he may have to cut back on the size of his unit.

"There is only so much room and I just hope that I will not lose too much selling space. It will be dreadful to actually save the market and have it moved to a much better location only to find I can't afford to trade there because the space I have will be too small," he added.

The Star's Save Ipswich Market campaign has been "wonderful", said customer Bessie Ellis.

"It's about time that someone stepped in to help sort things out. All we need now is two other days. Thank you Evening Star," she added.

n Why not have your say online. Log on to www.eveningstar.co.uk to register your vote.

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