Junkyard Market warned by council after serving alcohol without food

Junkyard Market is making its way to Ipswich this weekend, and will be running throughout weekends in December Picture...

Junkyard Market is making its way to Ipswich this weekend, and will be running throughout weekends in December Picture: Junkyard Market - Credit: Archant

The organisers of Junkyard Market in Ipswich have been warned it must comply with coronavirus measures after serving alcohol without food.

Ipswich Borough Council has served the ticketed street food market, which opened on Grafton Way at the weekend, with a prohibition notice. It follows what the council said was a "clear breach" of restrictions and it says the market will be unable to continue until inspectors are satisfied with its safety.

Under Tier 2 measures, hospitality venues are not allowed to serve alcohol unless the customer also has a substantial meal.

The venue was checked by Ipswich Borough Council environmental health officers and police on a number of occasions over the weekend.

Michael Femi-Ola, the organiser of Junkyard Market, said no issues were raised at the time.

A spokesman for the council said: "Ipswich Borough Council continues to monitor compliance of businesses across the town during lockdown.

"We are pleased that the vast majority of the town’s businesses are abiding by the rules and so making Ipswich safer for everyone.

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"We would much rather work to help businesses to comply with the law but we will take appropriate action when the rules are not being followed.

"Today we have served a Coronavirus Prohibition Notice on the Junkyard Market because they have served alcohol without food.

"This is a clear breach of the regulations.

"The Junkyard Market events will be unable to continue unless the operators satisfy the council that they have systems in place to ensure this does not happen again."

Mr Femi-Ola said he met with health officials on Tuesday.

He said: "We discussed the measures we have in place currently and worked to create extra steps moving forward.

"So it does come as a surprise to receive this notice. We are disappointed, but we will carry on working hard with our contacts at the council to deliver a safe and successful event for the people of Suffolk."

Mr Femi-Ola also said he plans to open the market this weekend as previously scheduled.

The news comes after Mr Femi-Ola said a video shared on social media of the street food venue was not a "true reflection" of the event.

He said a 10-second video of people dancing on tables inside a tent at the market was an "isolated issue" and all correct coronavirus measures were being followed and enforced.

The video sparked controversy among other hospitality providers, with a nearby bar owner describing the clip as "extremely frustrating".

The Junkyard Market opened in the Green Parking car park in Grafton Way on Friday last week.

The market is due to open every weekend in December and throughout Christmas.

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