'Long Sutton market stallholders should pay same as other towns'
Two councillors are trying to change the new market fees for Long Sutton - saying it’s a matter of ‘principle’ that stallholders should pay the same as other towns.
Councillors Chris Brewis and Jack Tyrrell have ‘called in’ the decision to adopt new rules for South Holland’s markets - a formal move which aims to force a change.
The district council’s cabinet recently voted on a new market policy, which includes plans for a market manager and a revamped fee structure.
All traders are due to pay £7 per 10ft stall barring Long Sutton, where the proposed charge is £8.50.
The extra cost is suggested to help cover the price of the road closure in Long Sutton Market Place.
Coun Tyrrell said: “It’s not about the money, it’s more about the principle.”
He feels Long Sutton is being ‘punished’ for the success of its market and paying the £1.50 extra per stall would be ‘peanuts’ for the district council compared to investment in Spalding and Holbeach.
He added: “We don’t want to be Spalding or Holbeach, we are Long Sutton. Yes, we are different - we have got a nice little market town and we want to keep it that way.”
Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for environmental services, said he did not agree with the arguments made under the call in. He said the proposed policy was the result of a compromise after a consultation - and that the charges only pay for part of the cost of the closure, said to be about £100 a week.
Coun Gambba-Jones said: “That has to be paid for somewhere and rather than people of South Holland in general subsidising Long Sutton market it was felt some of that cost should lay with the traders who get the benefit.”
Members of the council’s performance monitoring panel will have to decide what to do next - and could send the decision back to the cabinet.