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MP ‘supportive’ of city traders

General scene of market stalls on Market Street, Lancaster city centre, as building work and redevelopment of the city continues.

General scene of market stalls on Market Street, Lancaster city centre, as building work and redevelopment of the city continues.

Market traders concerned about the future of their businesses have met with Lancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw to discuss their fears.

Stallholders say they could be forced to give up their businesses if they lose trade as a result of their pitches being moved as part of the city centre’s Square Routes refurbishment scheme.

The project involves the relocation of some stalls to make way for benches, trees and cycle racks. Traders say they are being left in the dark over the plans, and that they haven’t been consulted.

Mr Ollerenshaw visited traders on Saturday after hearing of their concerns.

Lynne Long, who runs the craft and jewellery stall usually based at Horseshoe Corner with her husband Andrew, said it was a helpful meeting.

She said: “We presented Eric with all the information we have got which outlines our arguments and he listened very carefully.

“He was very supportive of everything we said. We tried to explain our feelings about the situation and what we feel the council is trying to do.”

“He could see that the market would become fragmented if this goes ahead.”

Traders are due to have individual meetings with council officers on Wednesday.

Lynne added: “We see the market as being an asset to the city. We pride ourselves on being quite a draw for people visiting Lancaster, and those people will then spend their money in shops and cafes too.”

Mr Ollerenshaw said: “It was great to meet some of the market traders who do so much to add to the offer that draws shoppers into our town.

“Their major concern is that the installation of new street furniture is removing spaces for stall pitches and also in one instance being put into an established trader’s normal pitch.

“Apparently they are going to be “consulted” soon about the programme but clearly their worry is that this will be consultation after the real decisions have been made, as with this placement of new benches and cycle racks.”

 

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