South Holland District Council offices.

Long Sutton traders will have to pay extra charge despite pleas

Long Sutton Market traders will have to pay more for a stall after a bid not to put prices up failed.

Following a consultation this year, South Holland District Council says it’s bringing all of the market traders into the same price bracket of £7 for a stall after complaints Spalding traders were paying more to stand at its market.

But an extra £1.50 is proposed for Long Sutton as the council is now paying an outside body to close Market Street for the duration of the Friday event.

That decision was ‘called in’ by Long Sutton councillors Chris Brewis and Jack Tyrrell and a Performance Monitoring Panel voted unanimously for the district council’s Cabinet to drop the extra charge.

But on Tuesday the Cabinet voted to pass it.

“This rise is so patently unfair,” the independent Coun Brewis told the Conservative-run Cabinet.

“The idea to close off the road has not come from the stall holders, it’s come from the council.

“I’m not saying that there hasn’t been any accidents since King John granted Long Sutton the market, but I don’t think there has been for generations upon generations.

“We want to encourage the markets, particularly at the point in history and the rise will not go down very well.”

Coun Gary Taylor, the only member of the Cabinet not to vote for the charges, questioned whether the council had looked at different options than the “£92, 40 to 50 per cent of which” is paid by the council.

Concerns over the online booking system for traders were also raised by Coun Elizabeth Sneath.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones felt the charges were “not unreasonable” and expressed concerns they were not enough.

“I’ve heard a lot about how the council needs to be more supportive, encourage and promote the markets and our high streets but we need also some revenue,” he said.

“We are one of the most generous councils in the country. Many councils only stopped for three months and we’re still not charging.

“The charges are there to ensure we know how many are attending and to provide some certainty for customers. We are not a charity and traders can’t turn up when they fancy. That’s not what you want from a 21st century market.”

The meeting was chaired by deputy leader Coun Nick Worth who said: “We are talking about £8.50. If you can’t afford a stall for that price you probably shouldn’t have a stall.”

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