BURTON’S MP has submitted a detailed plan to council chiefs featuring suggestions of how to make the town’s Market Hall a success.
Andrew Griffiths revealed to the Mail that he had penned a letter to East Staffordshire Borough Council’s chief executive Andy O’Brien outlining a raft of measures to try to help the site, which has just undergone a £1.6 million refurbishment, attractive to customers and traders.
His suggestions include the previously revealed bid to offer free pitches to all traders for six months, to utilise East Staffordshire’s Business Development Fund to support start-up traders and better use of social media to promote the market.
He said: “Like everyone in Burton, I am keen to ensure that the market is a successful and thriving concern.
“However, a market is more than just buildings, and I am disappointed that so few traders are taking pitches in the hall, resulting in a poor shopping experience for visitors.
“Clearly this presents a situation which risks the market failing, and also raises just a tiny amount of revenue for the council. This could potentially result in a vicious circle where shoppers do not come to the market because there are too few stalls, and stallholders choose not to attend because there are too few shoppers. I think that introducing or using these kinds of measures would make a big difference and would attract more traders and more customers.”
Leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council Julian Mott said: “The chief executive and I were surprised to find a Burton Mail journalist chasing up a response to an email from Andrew Griffiths to the council, the same day that we opened it at the council.
“The email arrived three days after our MP had said in the Burton Mail that he had spoken to ‘chiefs’, when he had not.
“Doing his business through the newspaper has to stop. Please meet with us Andrew.
“We will of course respond to the ideas in Mr Griffiths’s letter which have not been costed.”
Mr Griffiths previously told the Mail that he had mentioned his suggestions to councillor Mott before contacting the paper with his proposals.