Market traders dispute is settled
LOWESTOFT market will return to business as usual today, after a bitter dispute between traders and the council was resolved at the eleventh hour.The row between traders operating from the stalls in the Britten Centre on London Road North and Waveney District Council erupted after the council asked traders to sign new leases.
LOWESTOFT market will return to business as usual today, after a bitter dispute between traders and the council was resolved at the eleventh hour.
The row between traders operating from the stalls in the Britten Centre on London Road North and Waveney District Council erupted after the council asked traders to sign new leases.
Traders were unhappy with a number of conditions such as two year contracts without automatic rights to renewal, a requirement to pay for repairs to their stalls and having to pay rent monthly rather than daily.
But yesterday, after a showdown which involved council staff preventing traders who had not signed the new leases from opening their stalls, a last minute agreement was reached.
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Traders' spokesman Clive Marshall said: “We have come to an amicable agreement with Waveney and we shall be trading again on Wednesday.
“As with most negotiations, we haven't been given 100% of what we asked for, but we have been assured and we are just happy this episode is over.
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“We would like to thank all of our customers for standing by us and we are just hoping that Waveney stand by their word and treat us fairly.”
The half a dozen traders who had refused to sign are responsible for 20 of the 30 stalls on the site.
Last night David Gallagher, the council's portfolio manager for operations and facilities, said: “Its very good news that the traders have decided to come on board.
“We can only offer leases of two years because we have to comply with our own lease on the land, but we have no intention not to renew the leases when they come up in two year's time.
“We want to grow the market, we want to see it become more successful in the future and we know we have to work with the existing traders to achieve that,” he said.
Lowestoft market received a £100,000 facelift in May 2005, as part of the £14.7m Waveney Sunrise Scheme.