Stall holders’ anger at market van rules

NILABE120428d2, Ilkeston market traders unhappy about new rules. Gordan Wran and Geoffrey Healey.
NILABE120428d2, Ilkeston market traders unhappy about new rules. Gordan Wran and Geoffrey Healey.

MARKET traders have hit out at the council after being told they cannot park up behind their pitches.

For years stall holders on the lower market have parked their vans behind their stalls but now they have been told to move them away or face action.

One of the town’s longest serving traders, Gordon Wren, who has been selling wool and knitting supplies on Ilkeston market for 45 years, has been suspended after arguments with the market manager over the issue.

Neighbouring trader, Mr Healey, told the Advertiser: “We are gutted about this.

“We have always had our vans parked at the back of our stalls and then out of the blue we’re told to get them off the market.

“We’ve had to park up on the street, that’s no use to us.

“It’s always been like this down here, we’ve always been able to park up where we are.

“The council should be working with the traders not working against us.”

However, Erewash Borough Council said its stance was aimed at creating a level playing field by listening to the concerns of other traders raised at the Markets Forum about ensuring they fairly and consistently apply the rules to all stall holders.

Cllr Geoffrey Smith, the council’s lead member for regeneration and planning, said: “We value the contribution made by market traders to the vitality of both Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres and remain committed to working with them to encourage vibrant, welcoming and busy markets.

“As part of this on-going work to regenerate the town centres, we share the view of the majority of market traders that vehicles parked around stalls are not attractive, make the market look cluttered and untidy and take up space.

“A minority of traders on Ilkeston Market have failed to remove vehicles from the market by 9.30am, a rule that was firmly established in trading agreements signed by all market traders in the summer of 2010.

“As such, traders at Ilkeston were advised by letter on 3 April this year that the rule would be enforced equally from 11 April.

“Since then, issues raised by individual traders have been considered and reasonable exceptions made for those who sell directly from their vehicle.

“It is to the credit of Ilkeston Market as a whole that on Thursday 26 April, the rule was adhered to without causing any difficulties to normal market operations.”

But another lower market trader, disagreed with the council’s assessment.

He added: “For a lot of us the vans are an extension of our stall.

“I’ve already had to walk back to the van to fetch something for someone.

“On this bit of the market we have always had our vans at the back of the stalls.

“They’re not in anyone’s way, who’s walking around the back of the stalls?

“If we have to use the car parks where will the shoppers park? It’s ridiculous.”