A MARKET trader, whose pitch has been the cornerstone of Lynn’s historic Tuesday Market Place for over 80 years, has handed in his notice and plans to leave the “dying market”.
Lee Martin, owner of the LR Martin fruit and vegetables stall, said: “We’re clinging on to a dying market here, it’s dead on its feet.
“I’ve handed in my notice for the Tuesday Market Place because the council doesn’t want to do anything for us. The market does not have anyone to speak up for it.
“We need shop-floor representation and instead we are run by people who don’t say a word in the meetings and are never seen at the market. There’s no organisation or management.”
Earlier this summer, West Norfolk Council introduced the Test the Market initiative in hopes it would lead to a long-term boost to the area.
The initiative saw an additional 32 stalls across the Lynn and Hunstanton markets in one week and was hailed a success by officials with a new trader joining the Tuesday Market, but this still leaves the market at just six traders each Tuesday.
Mr Martin said: “It’s just a shambles and the council wonder why no-one turns up.
“The trial market doesn’t work – you end up with crafts and car boot sales turning up while there are people trading in the town centre who should be on the market.
“The town centre has evolved away from the market place and we need to be moved to the centre of town or nothing will change. I asked if we could move and was told no.”
But Chris Bamfield, head of leisure and public spaces, said: “Not all of the town centre streets are suitable for market stalls because of the restrictions on vehicle access during the day.
“The amount of stalls on the Tuesday Market Place at peak times would not fit in the town centre.”
At a meeting held in August, officials put forward the idea of offering traders a free week each month as an incentive for joining the market, this would see a loss of £20,000 a year from both the Lynn and Hunstanton markets.
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