Town split over more French markets

By Patrick LowmanA SURVEY has revealed a majority of a town's traders questioned over the visit of a travelling French market do not want to see it return.

By Patrick Lowman

A SURVEY has revealed a majority of a town's traders questioned over the visit of a travelling French market do not want to see it return.

Civic leaders in Sudbury were left embarrassed when members of the French market where met with a torrent of racial and anti-French abuse as they arrived for a four-day stay in the town earlier this month.

After receiving a number of complaints about the way the visiting French Market, which lined the town's North Street, was handled, Sudbury Town Council sent out questionnaires to traders in and around the town centre.


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The findings of the survey have now been released and revealed a mixed reaction to the market, known as Chez Vous La France.

But the figures showed more than 50% of the 41 traders who returned the questionnaire did not want the town council to consider one-off special markets in North Street in the future.

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Although 14 shopkeepers said the council should consider introducing visiting markets into North Street, another 22 said it should not.

A total of 21 shopkeepers said the market had not adversely affected their trade, but 18 claimed their takings had been down.

When asked if the market had a positive effect on their trade, 24 said it did not, compared to 11 who said it did.

Opinions were split on whether the closure of North Street during the four-day market was positive.

The survey also included general comments made by members of the public and again opinion was split.

Many were in favour of the French market, saying it was a “much-needed boost for the town” and created a “great atmosphere”.

But others were left angered by the arrival of the French stalls, making comments like “Keep to English shops” and “Lovers of French shopping should go over the France and us British should support our local traders and boycott further French markets”.

patrick.lowman@eadt.co.uk

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