On the 19th of July, Wanstead & Woodford Guardian reported that, following a consultation process, Redbridge Council were planning to increase fees for all market stalls in the borough from £15 per stall per day to £28 – a huge increase of almost 87%!
The paper also reported that, as a result, the South Woodford market had decided to cease trading as they couldn’t absorb the increase, clearly the Wanstead markets would also be under threat.
We felt that this was a very short-sighted decision, given the current economic situation, the threat already presented by the Westfield shopping centre, and the recent dismal weather can only have had a negative impact for local traders.
The Wanstead Society wrote to the council asking for an explanation of the massive increase and also canvassed the Wanstead Business Partnership to find out if they had been part of the consultation process. The first that they had heard of this action was the article in the Guardian. We also asked who had been included in the consultation process and what were they asked?
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