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Trading Days At Whitby Market To Be Restricted

Trading Days At Whitby Market To Be Restricted

Published by Karen Liu at 2:05pm 21st June 2018. (Updated at 10:30am 22nd June 2018)

Trading days at Whitby Market are going to be restricted.

Those working there say they are unhappy at the lack of consultation on the issue.

A statement from Scarborough Borough Council said:

"Following the appointment of a new Market Superintendent for Whitby and Scarborough earlier this year, a comprehensive review of the operation and management of Whitby Market is underway.

"In the medium and long term we want to improve the viability and appeal of the market to customers and traders, introduce best practice and modern operating protocols where required and look at an investment plan, including potential capital investment in existing facilities.

In the short term however there are some actions that we need to do quickly, to ensure market operations conform to the necessary regulations and legislation. This will ensure that the market is placed on a sound and sustainable footing before moving forward.

"Actions include ensuring that traders are registered with the council and have the required insurances to operate, and that trading is carried out only on regulated days and times. As a matter of priority, all the traders have been contacted and fully informed of this process.

"In order for the council to effectively manage the market and ensure compliance with regulation, as from Monday 16 July trading days will be restricted to Tuesday, Saturday (the official chartered market day), and a seasonal farmers' market on a Thursday."

Anne Marshall is a trader and said:

"As a regular trader on Whitby Market for some years now, having built up a business that is tailored specifically to the tourist trade and particularly to Whitby, I am studying a letter from Mr Alex Richards, Acting Regeneration Services Manager of Scarborough Council, entitled "Changes to Operation of Whitby Market" dated 14th June 2018.

This is the first direct communication I have had from anyone at the council with regard to changes at Whitby Market.

While I have no issues with the short term objectives outlined, I am concerned that any changes should be implemented fairly, with due consideration given to everyone affected, and not rushed.

On its website the council refers to markets as an important part of creating vibrant high streets and safeguarding jobs.

It also says market stalls are small businesses and provide employment for substantial numbers of people.

My own business provides full time work for myself and one other person as well as several seasonal workers each summer.

Depending as it does on the summer months and in particular the school holidays, it would not survive the proposed reduction of trading days to two per week, and being given four weeks notice that this would take effect from the start of the school holidays, after months of planning, buying stock etc strikes me as especially unfair.

I hope that in the days between my writing this letter and its publication the council will have taken steps to make sure that everyone who has a stake in this issue feels they have been properly considered and fairly treated before completing stage one and moving on to stage two of the planned changes."

Councillor Bill Chatt, Cabinet Member for Sustainability said:

"The market will continue on the current market system of every Tuesday and Saturday.

But at this moment, Sunday market won't operate next month unless something changes.

That's an operational matter and they're doing that to make this market compliant with the market regulations.

We're not consulting whether the market should comply with the law, the market should be compliant with the law regardless.

What they're doing at the moment is they'rep utting sysmtems in place where people can book or pay a ptich for the day.

Where evidence of their insurance is in place, that's legislation. We have no choice over that.

The consultation, when this comes in, will happen soon and then we can come across and talk to the market traders and see what they want and see what's available to do that."

Councillor Bill Chatt tells us where we are at now:

John Freeman, a gallery owner at 9 Market Place in Whitby and friends with many market traders said:

"It appears that someone from Scarborough, the new Marketing Manager we believe, turned up last week or the week before and just said 'we're going to stop trading on various days of the week'.

Which as a business person myself, I think is just incredibly poor practice.

There were no obviously indication that trading were going to cease on various days of the week.

So I have some considerable sympathy for ways they have been treated.

I would have liked to have seen a much more coheisive market with much more variety and much more attractive store settings."

John explains what he has heard:

A petition has been set up to keep Whitby Market as a daily market: https://www.change.org/p/si-eaton-yahoo-com-keep-whitby-market-a-daily-market

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