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Traders threaten to leave market

PUBLISHED: 23:21 16 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:47 02 March 2010

HALF the traders at Ipswich market are today preparing to leave the town because of the uncertainty over its future.

That was the claim today as angry traders continue the battle to retain control over the Cornhill market.

HALF the traders at Ipswich market are today preparing to leave the town because of the uncertainty over its future.

That was the claim today as angry traders continue the battle to retain control over the Cornhill market.

"There is no indication when the decision on the future of the management of the market might be made," said Mike Young, chairman of the co-operative running the market.

"We pay £60,000 a year to run the market and we don't know how much longer we are going to be able to stay here.

"This market is run by business people and we cannot survive with this level of uncertainty. Half the traders have said they're considering moving away from Ipswich."

Mr Young, who runs the fish stall on the market, may join the exodus himself.

"I would be very sorry to go - I moved down here from Lowestoft and Ipswich is my town, but I can't stay here if we don't know what the future holds," he said.

"I'll have to look at other possibilities - although I don't want to go," he said.

The traders are to meet both the Labour and Conservative borough groups next week before Wednesday's full council meeting.

"We want to put our point of view across to them, I hope they listen to us," Mr Young added.

Council deputy leader David Ellesmere said the Labour group had invited the traders to meet them - but the future of the market would not be decided next week.

"We will be hearing a report on how the parliamentary bill to extend the market is progressing, but we will not be discussing the lease," he said.

"That won't be on the agenda until after the borough elections in June. I don't know exactly when that will be decided."

Mr Ellesmere said the council was anxious to retain all the market traders.

"We want a thriving, expanded market. I hope no one will consider leaving the town - we are working to make sure the market can expand, not contract," he added.

nIs it right to delay a decision on the market? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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