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Burton’s indoor market losing five traders in as many weeks

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 09, 2013

  • 20/12/12 pic of empty indoor market - burton market hall, burton pic of indoor market looking empty Burton indoor market looking empty....

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BURTON’S indoor market is a ‘shadow of its former self’ after a council revealed five traders have left in as many weeks.

East Staffordshire Borough Council admitted to the Mail that the five traders have not been replaced but added that the new outdoor market, in Station Street, is flourishing.

Councillor Bill Ganley, of the Labour opposition group, claimed that the council has not installed replacements in the indoor market ‘to avoid paying compensation’ to stallholders when the hall shuts for refurbishment which is still scheduled for September.

He said: “I am not surprised in the slightest at the amount of traders who have left the indoor market. In my opinion this is part of the Tories’ plan. They want all of these businesses to leave so they don’t have to pay them compensation when the hall shuts for refurbishment.”

From November 21 – when the outdoor market moved to Station Street – to December 31, a total of five traders have packed up business in the hall, although the borough council added that ‘some had handed their notice in prior to the outdoor market moving.’

Councillor Ganley said: “They handed in their notice prior to the outdoor market moving because they knew what was going to happen. They predicted it and it is coming true, just like the outdoor traders knew if they moved to Station Street their trade would increase, because it is their job to know.”

As previously reported to the Mail, the outdoor market has seen an increase in stalls being occupied by 60 per cent, but at the same time the council added that footfall in the indoor market was mirroring the current economic situation elsewhere in the town and the country.

Councillor Ganley added: “People are coming to Burton from Derby for their little independent shops and they go to the market and just say it is dead. The market is a shadow of its former self.

“The fruit and vegetable stalls outside were built in the 1930s to attract people to the market and now we are getting rid of them.

“It has absolutely devastated trade in the indoor market. Traders have told me they are losing trade by 30 to 40 per cent. Some are holding on to see what compensation they can get.”

A council spokesman said: “During the period when the aforementioned traders left, the authority welcomed applications and actively sought tenants. Unfortunately, no tenancies were forthcoming.

“With respect to the accusation that the authority is not appointing tenants to avoid compensation payments, this is untrue. It should be noted that any tenant with less than one full year of residency is not eligible to any statutory compensation.”

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  • Burton Mail  |  January 21 2013, 10:42PM

    If the Council are so determined to increase footfall to the area around the Market Square and the failing Ice Rink why have the Market area and footpaths to the shops in the Town Centre not been gritted for easy access???

  • Burton Mail  |  January 18 2013, 11:00PM

    Well done Wendy for encapsulating what many people think of ESBC's latest shennanigans. It's high time these well meaning fools with their vacuuous paper thin statements were replaced by people who understood the true value of small business traders such as the market clientele.

  • Burton Mail  |  January 16 2013, 4:09PM

    “On behalf of the Council, I would like to set the record straight on the points being made by this individual. “We have always encouraged the local traders to advertise their business as much as possible alongside what is done by the Council. Our research in to other successful markets has shown that the model of flexible trading units is very effective and offers shoppers a valuable and diverse shopping experience. We have also supported market traders by freezing rents for the last three years. “As we have stated on numerous occasions, the vast majority of existing market traders whole heartedly support the market development and this has been reinforced by the number of traders , again the vast majority, who have applied for a unit in the refurbished Market Hall. “With regard to the comment that we are ruining people’s lives, the Council has taken the decision to redevelop the market to ensure the market’s longevity in these difficult economic times that are affecting all retail outlets, not just market traders. “As the individual has stated, since its move to Station Street the footfall for the Market has increased. This was one of the Council’s objectives along with increasing the number of traders, something else we have achieved. What we cannot be held accountable for is whether shoppers choose to buy from the traders or not. “We have already stated that we will not comment on individual compensation cases.”

  • Burton Mail  |  January 12 2013, 6:52PM

    Most of the Traders have left,because they are not making enough money to pay the rent. They have written to the council asking for a reduction in rent, due to the drastic decrease in footfall, which the council have created by moving the outdoor market to station street. The answer was very scathing and basically said, your problem, its up to each individual to advertise their business.These Traders have worked for weeks without taking a wage out of their businesses for themselves. Now Mr counil spokesman, does that pay the mortgage? I think not! The ones that left before, saw the writing on the wall and left the ship before it sunk. As to the nonsense about hanging on for compensation, very few will be entitled to more than £1,000.Not a sum to get excited about especially when you have worked for months without an income.These Traders also know they cannot work from "popup gazebo's" in the centre of the market hall, which will have to be emptied every evening, what are they supposed to do? Let me tell you conservative council you have created a monster, destroyed a lot of peoples lives, devastated most of the elderly population of Burton on Trent.! If there was a local election this year you would be in dire straits,as most people want you out for destroying their MARKET TOWN. As for the roaring success down Station Street, except for one stallholder, most are taking no more money than when they were in the Market Square. In fact one friend, a Trader in Station Street, told me they had never taken so little money on a market in all the years they had been a Market Trader on any of their markets. You can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink. The footfall may be better, but the money isn't coming in. Burton's public would love the Market back in the Market square, and now that sorry excuse for a fair has gone, and given the fact that Town Centre Management have no plans for events for the Market Square until the Summer why can't it happen? The outdoor Market was a feed through for the Hall, if ever the council needed proof this is it. The Market Hall and the outdoor Market need to be together.It is like a close knit community, the atmosphere, the social chit chat, the bespoke businesses, the friendship. The people that have left the Market Hall will be a great loss to Burton's shoppers, a couple have managed to relocate within Burton Town centre, ie Julies Design has gone down Station street, Framing Lovely will be situated within Simnetts photography in Guild Street, the others however are struggling to find somewhere they can afford within the Town Centre.. For what? This proposal that nobody wants, a very sorry state of affairs. Reconsider Council please, before more damage is done. PS you could always put the ice rink on eBay and get some of our council tax money back!

  • Burton Mail  |  January 10 2013, 2:38PM

    The Council will not listern to anything that the indoor market stallholders have to say regarding improvements,that is why twelve stalls have closed since the Council anounced their plans last year. The Council are responsible for the current state of the market hall, not the stallholders.