BURTON’S indoor market hall is now half empty according to a document listing the number of businesses which remain.
The list provided to the Mail by Delora Jones, who has been trying to prevent Burton Market from closing, counts the number of businesses which remain as 24, out of a possible 48 which includes the brick built stalls outside.
However, East Staffordshire Borough Council has said the document is ‘factually incorrect’.
Mrs Jones had contacted the Mail after it ran the story regarding the market losing five traders in just five weeks.
She said: “(In the article) the borough council insisted that “some (traders) had handed their notice in prior to the outdoor market moving (to Station Street)”. However, a trader currently trading in the market hall said that this is not true; these five traders – a bookseller; tailor; greeting cards, Wasteland (games); and china and jewellery - gave notice as a result of the drop in trade which followed the removal of the outdoor market from the Market Square, and the installation of the plastic skating rink and fun-fair in its place.
“This article also stated that the council had said the new outdoor market in Station Street was flourishing. To ‘flourish’ is to grow vigorously, to thrive, to prosper. The outdoor market in Station Street may be doing less poorly than the market hall at the moment, but ‘flourish’ is not the right word; ‘limping along’ might be nearer the mark.
“In January, three more traders in the market hall have given notice to vacate. The council are not replacing traders who leave, so the hall looks more and more deserted.”
In the list it states that there are just eight central stalls still in use out of a potential 19, while there are just 11 perimeter businesses still running out of 24.
The five brick built stalls outside are still in use but these will be demolished.
A council spokesman said: “The suggestions made in the document supplied by the Burton Mail are factually incorrect.
“In regards to the success of the outdoor market, the number of stalls have increased by 60 per cent and there is an increase in footfall giving every indication that the outdoor market will continue to grow and prosper.”