French market set to return
A TOWN is holding its breath for the return of a French market that split public opinion during its last visit.The travelling market, known as La France Chez Vous, is due back in Sudbury this morning for a four-day stay and town dignitaries are hoping it does not receive another hostile reception from some shoppers.
A TOWN is holding its breath for the return of a French market that split public opinion during its last visit.
The travelling market, known as La France Chez Vous, is due back in Sudbury this morning for a four-day stay and town dignitaries are hoping it does not receive another hostile reception from some shoppers.
Town officials were left "ashamed and embarrassed" when the French traders suffered racist and offensive comments from a minority of shoppers during its first visit in April.
At the time some people were outraged by France's lack of support towards the invasion on Iraq, while others held a grudge over their ban on British beef or felt more effort should be put into helping local traders rather than outsiders.
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Shopkeepers in North Street, where the market was held, also claimed it blocked entrances to their outlets and took away their passing trade, with some claiming business was down by 40%. Stallholders on the town's traditional two-day market also said their trade had been badly hit.
Despite the criticism, the town council decided to invite the market back after a survey revealed many people had been attracted to Sudbury during the first visit and many traders outside North Street wanted to see its return.
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Deputy town clerk Ian Clark previously said: "There was a lot of support for the market last time it came and the racist behaviour only came from a minority.
"On the whole the council feel the French market was a success and it should not be prevented from coming back because the voice of a minority."
The French market will set-up stall in North Street and will stay until Sunday. Market organiser Alain Wiecek said: "We hope the event will be even better than last time and should have a few more stalls. We do not have any concerns about returning to Sudbury."