A Doncaster market trader says stallholders have left ‘in droves’ following the council’s implementation of new policies and procedures.
Ann Robinson, who runs a stall on the Wednesday market, says she is unhappy with a new invoicing system which has been put in place to replace cash collections.
She also claims the new outdoor market stalls act like a wind tunnel and, due to them being on a slope, lead to many of the stallholders’ stock being damaged by water in bad weather.
She said: “Since the new stalls have been implemented and the invoicing system put in place instead of the cash collection, stallholders have left in droves. I have never seen so many empty stalls.”
She said there have also been a number of antisocial behaviour issues on the market, which make it difficult for traders to operate.
“Myself and other market traders had fought a long battle to clean up the market area of anti-social behaviour,” she said.
“We can turn up to trade and find excrement at the stall or sick over it, there could be someone sleeping on it, we don’t know who they are or what they are capable of and the stalls and the area should be fit for purpose when we arrive.
“We don’t just try and improve the market for the Wednesday traders, we are Doncaster people and want the best for all of us.”
Dave Wilkinson, assistant director of trading services and assets, said: “There have been some new policies and procedures introduced over the past year or so, this was because the majority of traders told us that they were needed.
“Unfortunately a small minority of traders have not responded well to the changes.
“We have a fantastic working relationship with the Market Traders’ Federation in Doncaster and will continue to work with all concerned to address concerns. It is vital, however, that the council runs the markets in a professional and safe way.
“Doncaster Council invested £1 million recently in a new outdoor market and public square and we are investing a further £1m in the Corn Exchange this year.
“In the current economic climate this represents a very significant investment for traders, shoppers and visitors in Doncaster.
“I am disappointed that negativity from a small minority of traders continues to damage the reputation of our award-winning markets – among the best in Britain – when the council and so many others are working hard to promote and celebrate all the good things about them locally, regionally and nationally.”