Should there be a market in St Albans every day? Today’s the day to have your say

Market day in St Albans

Market day in St Albans

Archant

Market traders in St Albans have voiced their near-unanimous opposition to the district council’s proposal to allow more stalls in the city on non-market days.

A public consultation – which invites feedback on the proposal to allow ‘more than six traders’ on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays – ends today. But in an open letter to the district council, traders have warned that this would “effectively create a market every day of the week”.

In the letter, initiated by David Lawrence of Dave’s Tasty Bites, 111 out of 112 signatories in the city centre agreed that the introduction of a larger numbers of stalls would have a negative impact on traders.

According to the letter, many traders expressed concerns that the changes were not only unnecessary, due to the numbers of unoccupied stalls on market days, but would further dilute Wednesday and Saturday business.

David, who has run a food stall in the town for more than 30 years, said that he thought the proposals were a bad idea.

He said: “I go up and down the market all the time. There’s a batch of stalls - probably about six – sometimes the council allow them to overspill into the next stall to make it look like they’re full up, but they’re not actually getting any revenue for them.

“There are always quite a few empty stalls. This is why we’re asking the question: does it warrant having more stalls on the other days?”

County councillor, Chris White, agreed that the proposed changes had the potential to trade on other days and said: “The markets in St Albans are an ancient institution and we have to move very carefully.

“We will look at what comes out of the consultation and go from there.”

Beric Read, the council’s portfolio holder for community engagement and localism, was unavailable for comment.

The consultation asks two questions: ‘Do you consider that four traders are enough?’ and ‘Would you like to see more than six traders?’

To have your say on the proposals, direct your comments to licensing@stalbans.gov.uk before the end of the day (8).


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