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Trader ‘point score’ anger

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 13, 2013

By HELEN KREFT

Comments (8)

INDOOR traders from Burton market have issued an appeal for groups and individuals in the town to stop using their livelihood as a ‘tool to score points’.

Two traders have hit back at criticism from people opposing the news that the indoor market stallholders will move to the first floor of the Octagon Shopping Centre.

Both traders say they are looking forward to moving upstairs and believe foot traffic will increase when the units are occupied.

However, the fruit and vegetable stalls have refused to move to the shopping centre, while the butchers will move to New Street.

Liz, from Birds of a Feather Model Shop, said: “We can’t wait to move upstairs to the Octagon Centre. We are really looking forward to the chance to expand our business and open more hours. It’s a win-win for us. There are various people claiming to represent the views of the market traders but I wouldn’t know who they are. I couldn’t point out Bill Ganley in a room so why he thinks he represents my views I don’t know. The same can be said about the Civic Society. We have seen them scuttle in a few times to take a picture of an empty stall but they have never stayed around to speak to us or ask what we think.”

Harry, from HK Celebrations, added: “We are really looking forward to it. Obviously we are nervous because we see the upstairs of the Octagon Centre at the moment and it is quiet, but we realise it’s quiet because there is nothing there until we move in. I think if we have a good selection of traders upstairs it will give us a chance to grow our business and open more hours. We have never been asked if we would want representation from any of the groups that claim to be representing us and all this negativity is damaging to the market and to the town.”

Paul Howard, Burton town centre manager, said: “We have a good relationship with many of the market traders and I hope they feel comfortable enough in telling me the truth about their hopes and fears for the future of the Market Hall. I have to say that the recent reports do not seem to match with the feedback we are receiving from many of the people operating a business within the hall. Yes, people are anxious about the change but I feel that optimism for the future and a willingness to embrace the change and make the most of it would be a more accurate summation than some of the doom and gloom reports we have seen.

“Most of the traders I have spoken to have told me they are generally feeling quite positive about the move. They realise that the Octagon Centre generates a substantial footfall, many times over what is achieved at the current location and we can back that up with hard evidence. Anyone who claims different needs to spend a little time at the market and have a count up of the numbers of people entering the building as I have done in the past. I spoke to five traders last week and not one of them was aware that their views were being made for them.”

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8 comments

  • DJones1  |  February 14 2013, 10:42AM

    Just to say the person referred to, above, who came in to take photos on that Friday was me, Delora Jones (by the way, I don’t move fast enough to scuttle – hobble is nearer the mark). I’d gone into the market on the Thursday and was so shocked at the number of empty stalls, came back on Friday with my camera to photograph the boarded-up stalls. I and 3 others from Friends of Burton Market met with Andrew Griffiths, MP, on that Friday (the meeting had been arranged a fortnight previously), and I wanted those photos up on the web so he could see them, should he choose to. So yes, I am a committee member of the Burton Civic Society, but foremost I am a very concerned market shopper, as I was long before joining the Civic Society. Please don’t assume that whenever I am on the market I am representing the Civic Society, but I do understand the confusion as it is the Civic Society’s web that I help to update with information connected with the market changes. I also help maintain a Facebook page, Friends of Burton Market, which was set up by Friends of Burton Market. I wish you all the luck in your move to the Octagon but, as I say, I hobble, so sadly, I am not physically able to make the extra distance to visit the stalls there. But best of luck with the move!

  • Peter777  |  February 13 2013, 5:26PM

    Some of the sixteen traders who have left the Market Hall did because they were told they would be there with falling off trade till September, not March as is now happening. Would it not be a good idea for the Council to contact them to see if they want to now move with the rest of the stall holders to the Octagon, thus keeping as many together ready for the move back to the Market Hall at the end of the year, if that does in fact happen.

  • burtontrash  |  February 13 2013, 4:31PM

    You know that you've lost the argument when you resort to labelling any opinion that doesn't concur with your own pie-in-the-sky outlook as negative. Maybe they should give away bottled water at the entrance to the Octagon; after all, the only people who have been to the first floor in the last ten years have been those with full bladders..

  • wendyanne  |  February 13 2013, 4:16PM

    The clue is the fact that Mr Howard has spoken to two Traders, out of how many? Perhaps the others don't want to talk to him

  • burtonbloke1  |  February 13 2013, 2:31PM

    Mr Howard is absolutely right when he says footfall in the Octagon Centre should be better than the market hall. The council have made sure of that by completely changing the demographic in the market square by removing the traders and introducing two play areas for children. I am sure he will be extremely pleased that the council have helped him to fill the deserted mezzanine level. Who gets the rent from the traders when they move in?

  • mwquilt  |  February 13 2013, 1:57PM

    As a market user I wasn't pleased to hear that traders would be moved to upstairs in the Octagon Centre. I know they need to be able to continue trading during renovations, but that seems so out of way, resulting in a further split to our market, I worry too that with outdoor traders down Station Street and no stalls in the Market Square, that it won't even look like a market and that it will have a negative impact on traders within the Market Hall.

  • DJones1  |  February 13 2013, 12:05PM

    Paul Howard, Burton town centre manager, has said that most of the traders he’s spoken with have said they’re feeling quite positive about the move, but the traders I go to -- and to whom I’ve gone for years -- are not happy about the move. As a Burton market shopper, I do not welcome a further distance of blocks to walk and carry bags.

  • Reader12345  |  February 13 2013, 10:54AM

    This is all good and well but has anyone actually asked what the people who shop on the market want?

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