November 29 2011 Liverpool Confidential Written by Larry Neild
LIVERPOOL street traders’ veteran battler Brian Gould (pictured) is to seek a meeting with council leader Joe Anderson to demand a restoration of pitches on Church Street after the Christmas Market stalls spread out onto the controversial shopping stretch.
The stallholders were banished after a lengthy and costly legal battle that went as far as the Court of Appeal.
To deny us the right to return to Church Street
but allow the Christmas market stalls to be
pitched there is wrong
Now Gould has described the decision to allow the Christmas Market to spread into Church Street as a form of “ethnic cleansing”.
He stormed: “The council went to great lengths to clear Church Street of the traders and made a vow that stalls would never ever be allowed to return.
“People forget the traders are local people, with families to support and homes to pay for and throughout the battles we had with the Lib Dems, Labour were on our side.
“To deny us the right to return to Church Street but allow the Christmas market stalls to be pitched there is wrong.
“A stall is a stall is a stall and by allowing them there, but denying us the opportunity is a form of ethnic cleansing or even apartheid. It seems there is one rule for some traders and another for us. We’d be happy to use similar chalet-style stalls.
“I will be taking this up with the Street Trading Committee and asking for a meeting with Joe Anderson.”
The fate of the street traders became a cause celebre for the then opposition Lib Dems in the 1990s, led by Mike Storey.
They went to the electorate in 1998 with three pledges – to freeze council tax (then the highest in the country), to protect parklands from any sell-offs and to rid Church Street of the traders.
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