Stallholders slam new market plan

Stallholders have slammed plans to review Matlock’s market.

Traders say urgent action is needed to ensure the future of the town’s ailing market – and Derbyshire Dales District Council is carrying out a major review.

But the council’s proposals – which include raising fees and scrapping the Saturday market – have been blasted as “unhelpful” and a “step backwards.”

Paul Bestwick, of PB Bargains, said: “The rents can’t go up, that would be totally wrong.

“I can’t understand why they would want to get rid of the Saturday market either.

“It’s a busy day and brings in money for the council. It would be a step backwards.”

At a meeting in Matlock last month councillors drew up a list of ideas for the Dales markets.

These include improving signage for Bakewell market, continuing the incentive scheme for new traders to encourage business start-ups, keeping the markets in their current locations and offering traders subsidised parking permits for market days.

The draft plans also state that Matlock’s unofficial Saturday market should be discontinued and unlike the previous two years when fees have not been increased, in April 2012 fees should go up in line with inflation.

Currently traders pay around £20 a day to rent a stall in the Bakewell Road market hall.

Matlock resident Sheila Lawrence opened her accessories and jewellery stall on December 2.

She said: “Now is not the right time to be putting the rents up.

“It’s not helpful at all and is the opposite of what they should be doing.

“The rents are too much already, especially for little places like mine.

“Matlock needs more attention than the other markets.

“They should be focusing on Matlock market to help it get back on its feet.”

Mercury Facebook friends have also given their views on the council’s ideas.

Tanya Cantrill said: “That says it all, stall holders have all left because they can’t make it pay, so what do the council do, put the cost per stall up, very wise.”

Laura Davies added: “Why don’t they spend the money on upgrading the current site?! New stalls - new signs - new lights?! Happier stall holders.

“Councillors need to stop wasting money when the answers are simple.”

The council is set to put together a draft report which will be discussed at a meeting in January.

Councillors will vote on the final report in February.