February 8, 2012 Birmingham News by Matt Lloyd
EMBATTLED traders at Birmingham’s wholesale markets demanded emergency talks with council bosses after they were hit with a 22 per cent hike in service charges.
Workers at the Pershore Street site said the rise – an extra £3,000 per unit – would see them hand over about £16,000 to the city council for every stall they ran.
They are already at loggerheads with the authority over the future of the markets after a planned relocation deal fell through last year.
But a council spokesman said the charges had been brought up to normal levels after years of taxpayer-funded subsidies.
Birmingham Wholesale Fresh Produce Association chairman Mark Tate said traders wanted a breakdown of costs and a meeting with council bosses.
He said: “We’ve asked for information but none has been forthcoming. We’ve asked for an emergency meeting and they’ve just said they’ll come back to us. Traders are angry.”
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