By Stuart Laundy,
COUNCILLORS have offered to pay just £1 a year to run their town’s weekly market after an earlier effort to find a new operator drew a blank.
An initial contract to run Barnard Castle’s Wednesday market was put out to tender by Durham County Council last September and officials hoped a new regime would be in place by the end of October.
However, the authority insisted a new operator would have to pay at least £5,000 a year for a licence to run the market.
That drew a furious response from local councillors, who believe the market – which dates back centuries – belongs to the town, not the county council.
They said charging a minimum annual licence fee of £5,000 would also make it impossible for the market to cover its costs.
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