Long Sutton fights back against 67% market stall fee increase proposal
Councillors say they are going to fight to keep their market after concerns have been raised for its future.
Long Sutton Parish Council say they want to encourage the town’s market - which has grown in popularity since it reopened last summer with Market Street closed to traffic on a Friday.
They now fear that that South Holland District Council’s market consultation is an attempt to kill off the market.
A consultation has been launched on the markets which could include a 67% increase in fees for Long Sutton traders but parish councillors also understand that stallholders also need to provide a risk assessment, sanitisation stations and cashless payment.
Council chairman John Clarey demanded to know what costs the district council are incurring to raise the fees so high. He said: “The market is a big thing on a Friday. It draws people in.
“The market is not a cashless place. People pay cash on a market. Stallholders of a certain age don’t want the latest technology.
“We don’t want increases in our market rates. We don’t want to drive traders away – we want to encourage the market.”
The district council
announced last week that it was launching a consultation on its draft Market Regulations Handbook, and the proposed fees and charges for its markets in Spalding, Holbeach, Long Sutton and Crowland.
At Thursday’s meeting Coun Faith Pearson said: “We have got to fight it to the bitter end.”
Coun Theresa Watts said: “They want to put costs on left right and centre and to drive it out of town.”
Members were told that previous consutaltions were held on the town’s market in 2010 and 2017.
Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, the district’s Portfolio Holder for Place, said: “We have absolutely no intention at all of closing Long Sutton market. If anything, the ongoing consultation on the district’s markets is about how we can further support traders and enhance town centres throughout the district.
“All proposed market fees form part of the consultation, therefore we would encourage as many people as possible to get involved in the process and share their thoughts. The deadline is Wednesday, July 30, and can be found online at www.sholland.gov.uk/marketsconsultation.”