Friday, November 18, 2005

Letter from a Market Hall trader

The Trust has received the following letter from Barbara Mulliner, a Market Hall trader...

STOCKPORT COVERED MARKET HALL

I have a business in the covered market hall and have been a trader at Stockport Market for 17 years.

photo from Quarterbridge siteI have seen the plans and read the Quarterbridge Report which was commissioned by the council and I know I speak for all the traders when I express my concerns at the lack of information and consultation with the Council.

There are currently four proposals for Stockport covered market refurbishment and whichever proposal the council adopts, it would be na├»ve to think they have not got an agenda to accompany each one. However, no indoor trader has received any information on how their plans will affect our businesses. I have completed three forms asking the same questions but to date I have received no reply. The questions we would all like answers to are the following –

1. If the market hall is to be refurbished is it going to be completed in phases or will the whole covered market be closed?
2. Where are the traders going to be re-located considering it would be totally inadequate for some businesses to trade from outside stalls?
3. Does the Council have a contingency fund to pay traders disturbance allowance?
4. What will happen to traders on the outside of the market hall if the indoor units are going to be opened up and able to serve from both sides, as the plans show.
5. The plans which are in conjunction with lottery funding and the Quarterbridge Report show the food hall being transferred over to the covered market hall. My unit happens to be one which on the new plans would be food along with quite a few other traders units. Where are the Council going to re-locate us? Do they intend not offering us another unit in the covered market as there will not be enough space to accommodate all the units currently there. If they close our businesses do they have a contingency fund which would enable them to compensate us?
6. How are the Council planning to select who will be eligible to apply for a new unit?
7. Will trading licenses be transferred over to leases?
8. Do the Council intend severely increasing the rents because the market will have been re-furbished, even though it won’t have cost them a penny as it will have been done with Lottery funding?

Why have so many questions remained unanswered by the Council?

I have spent 17 years building my business up, and there are numerous new businesses which have invested a lot of money in their enterprise. I know as traders we stand united in our bid to keep the market with similar units with a good variety of stalls. Re-furbish it by all means, but not without the consultation of the traders and the people of Stockport.

I trust you will take all my comments into account when considering your decision to give support to the Council, and hopefully you would consider supporting the covered market hall traders instead.
Barbara Mulliner
Unit 37, Covered Market Hall