I have read with interest the reports and letters in the Spalding Guardian regarding Holbeach market moving from the High Street to the car park.
It intrigues me that prior to and since the public meeting in Holbeach (of which I was unable to attend due to a prior engagement), no-one, apart from South Holland District Council, has spoken to the market traders who stand in all weathers to ply their goods.
If they had, they would know that, over the last four years, trade on the market has declined considerably – to the point that, if something was not done, it would end up closing.
Apart from the regular stallholders, there have been a variety of traders who have tried unsuccessfully to sell their products on Holbeach market, lasting only a few weeks or months because they were not taking enough money.
Following discussions with the district council, traders ruled out Church Street as a potential site because the footfall was considered to be even less than on the High Street and it was felt too dangerous to have traders unloading and loading so close to the traffic lights. It was also felt that there would have been insufficient room for all the traders.
The solution was to try the car park where it has already proven to be a success, with the people of Holbeach using the market far more than they did on the High Street, with all traders reporting a significant increase in customers and takings, with new traders also doing well and staying.
Parents feel it is safer for their children, while also proving easier access for people with disabilities.
Obviously, this means that people prefer the market in the car park to the High Street, otherwise they would not be using it so much.
Do the people who are objecting to the market move actually use it, or even shop in the High Street? And did they also object to Tesco being built where it is?
The High Street and Church Street footfall is going to be affected even more in the near future by the library closure and the loss of the Co-op chemist and the post office, which would make the market even less viable in its old position.
Perhaps the shopkeepers in Holbeach should take a leaf out of Spalding’s book and work together with the market traders to improve business for all.