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BRAY ASSOCIATES


WE CAN OFFER 33 TRADING DAYS A WEEK


01895 639912 SERVING THE NATION’S TRADERS SINCE 1922 www.market-trader.co.uk OCTOBER 12 - 25, 2018 No. 4937 70p


INSIDE... Page 3


A longer festive event for Oxford


Page 10


One year-old market bites the dust


Council to face Judicial Review Leighton Buzzard market


The High Court in London has granted permission for a Judicial Review over the issue of market rents in a Bedfordshire town, local media has reported. Earlier this year Leighton Linslade Town Council introduced new regulations relating to the payment of stall fees for market traders in Leighton Buzzard. Activist Victoria Harvey from Linslade, who had already appealed (unsuccessfully) to the High Court over Central Beds Council’s decision to grant permission for a new retail park in the area, submitted a challenge to the new pitch fee structure back in June.


Recently she revealed that


her bid to persuade a judge to take a look at the ruling of the town council’s Cultural and Economic Services Committee with regard to market rents, has been successful. Ms Harvey will not have to


pay any more than £4,000 in costs if she loses her


ISSN 2057–6781


challenge, after the court granted a protective order. Her contention is that the


town council did not engage in a proper consultation with market traders before introducing the new and controversial market fees. Ms Harvey, who will


represent herself in court, told local media: “The market is integral to the heart of Leighton Buzzard and despite the town council spending over £120,000 it is steadily growing smaller. “All I want is for the town


council to follow what I believe are their legal obligations, to undertake a fair consultation with the market traders and to agree a new system of pitch fees that will encourage more market traders – both traditional stalls such as fruit and veg, flowers, clothes etc, as well as newer stalls such as gifts and street food, so that the market grows and attracts more people into the town centre. “This will keep the traditional


market going as well as encouraging a wider variety of stalls. “The key point to be decided


by the High Court is whether the town council has a duty to consult, and/or whether they actually consulted fairly,


with the market traders. “I am so pleased that the


High Court believes that the town council has a serious case to answer as only 30 percent of cases reach this stage.” Ms Harvey added: “The


wider concern about the market is that although small stalls are very reasonably priced, the larger more traditional stalls such as fruit and veg, flowers and clothes etc are very expensive compared with other markets. “The only way that some


existing stallholders can afford the fees is due to the 20 percent loyalty discount that they receive if they have been on Leighton Buzzard market for over 20 years. “But if these traders were


to retire they could not be replaced with other fruit and veg, flowers, and clothes stalls as the price would be too high for new traders to take over as new traders would not get the discount. “This means that the traditional market stalls such as flowers, plants, fruit and veg, clothes and cards is steadily being phased out and priced out in favour of smaller gift and speciality stalls, and speciality markets like the French market.


“This risks the market continuing to decline.” Following a relaunch of the


market in September 2017, the town council made the decision to standardise pitch sizes and fees, introduce a new layout, and clamp down on businesses who in the past have increased their pitch size without paying extra to do so.


These staggered rent increases came into effect in April this year, as the council began to charge in relation to the depth of a stall and not just stall frontage. However, some traders


claimed the resultant rent rises would leave them with no option but to quit their stalls, and so the council introduced a loyalty rent reduction based on traders’ length of service on the market. They also ruled that


casual traders should pay £4 more per pitch than regular stallholders, and that the additional charge per square metre over and above the standard plot size should be reduced from the previously agreed £2.10 per sq metre to 50p per sq metre. With regard to the Judicial Review, a spokesman for Leighton-Linslade Town Council told local media:


“The matter has been passed to the town council’s solicitor, who will be responding to the courts in due course.”


First day of trading for new Basildon market


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Contact: Office– 01895 639912 Sam – 07737 630843 Les – 07971 738239


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CHRISTMAS EVE Les – 07971 738239


BRAY ASSOCIATES


01895 639912 Email: email@bray-associates.co.uk www.bray-associates.co.uk


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