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Spalding's MP wants answers as to how market traders in town are to be supported




Assurances over the long-term future of Spalding's twice-weekly street market are wanted by the town's MP.

Sir John Hayes is to ask leaders responsible for operating the market, with COVID-19 safety measures now in place, to look at giving traders more support.

South Holland District Council cabinet members voted on Tuesday to keep temporary changes to how the town's markets are run in place, including a controversial decision not to provide, set up or take down stalls for traders on safety grounds.

South Holland District Council cabinet members talked about Spalding's street markets on Tuesday.
South Holland District Council cabinet members talked about Spalding's street markets on Tuesday.

The decision was challenged by some council members who argued that traders were not given enough notice of having to provide their own stalls to trade in Spalding's Market Place on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Also on Tuesday, cabinet members voted to extend arent-free period for market traders from July 31 until August 31.

But Sir John, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, said: "I'll certainly be writing to the council, asking what more we can do to support the market.

Sir John Hayes MP is writing to South Holland District Council leaders about how they plan to help market traders through the pandemic.
Sir John Hayes MP is writing to South Holland District Council leaders about how they plan to help market traders through the pandemic.

"Obviously, I don't criticise the council for wanting to do things safely.

"But if stalls can't be put up safely then we need to find other ways of accommodating market traders because a number of them have said they won't be coming back."

Speaking on Tuesday, council leader Coun Gary Porter said: "I can make it abundantly clear to everybody that if someone gives me a report saying 'Don't do that because it'll be unsafe', that's the direction of travel we'll go in.

"That does mean, for the forseeable future, we won't be putting up the market stalls.

Traders and shoppers on the day when Spalding’s twice-weekly street market reopened after lockdown in Market Place on June 16.
Traders and shoppers on the day when Spalding’s twice-weekly street market reopened after lockdown in Market Place on June 16.

"But we need to make it clear that, as a council, we're committed to Spalding Market and we'll try to do as much as is in our grasp to make sure we end up getting a thriving market back up and established at the end of the COVID-19 period."


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