6 FEATURE London Chat

By Roger Mills Were all off to Barking...

Atillio that charming little Italian Trattoria on Cowcross Street has gone and with it a truly affordable set menu, old fashioned family atmosphere and my last eating place in the shadow of Smithfield. Wel l the march of the ‘corporates’ along the road from Farringdon tube has been steady and relentless – spurred by the planned arrival of Crossrail. Though when that delayed train will actually reach the platforms of the shiny new station is increasingly uncertain. But hey the whole place

has changed even in the twenty years I ’ve been scribing for this paper. Where the old Cold Stores were is now a building site, the redundant General Market site increasingly looks like a bit of the third world dumped in the city. Its role as the new Museum Of London

can’t come quick enough. And the ancient wholesale

meat market? Looking increasingly like a fish out of water – if you’ll excuse the cross-species metaphor. But not it seems for much

longer after – drum roll please – the Cour t of Common Council, the City of London Corporation’s main decision- making body, recent ly agreed its preferred site to consolidate and relocate its three historic wholesale food markets, subject to public consultation. Members had looked at a

number of proposals relating to the future of Smithfield Market, Billingsgate Market and New Spitalfields Market – but in the end agreed to pursue only Barking Reach, Dagenham, as the Ci ty Corporation’s preferred site for the consolidated market. Of the options; Silvertown

in Newham; Fair lop in Re d b r i d g e ; T hame s Enterprise Park in Thurrock

and Barking members felt the Barking Reach site offered good potential to support the City’s wider vision in a location that was broadly acceptable to traders. Af t er th e d e c i s i o n

Cather ine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “The City’s three wholesale food markets at Billingsgate, New Spi t al f ields and Smithfield have been serving our citizens for hundreds of years, and we are committed to their future for London. “In order to secure their

continued success, and after careful consideration of a number of options, Barking Reach has today been agreed as the preferred site for consolidating the City Corporation’s wholesale markets. We intend to use this new site to offer more modern facilities and space for traders to grow so that they can continue to support the capital’s food economy.

The historic Smithfield Market “We will soon be launching

a public consultation on our preferred option. As part of this process, we will continue to engage with market tenants, traders and their customers, and other key stakeholders across London. “Our number one priority

is to maintain a top-quality market environment serving London.” J ame s Tumb r i d g e ,

Chairman of the Ci t y of London Corporation’s Markets Committee, said: “The ambition to provide the right environment for

the long-term success of our wholesale markets has taken another positive step forward. “We cont inue to work

towards a vision for a food centre suitable for London’s future, in terms of its scale and environmental impact. It’s an honour to help guide this key part of London’s infrastructure to feed our great city.” As for the traders when

the consolidation plan was announced Jan Hutchinson, chief execut ive of the Spitalfields Market Tenants’ Association, reckoned the

plan was the best way forward: “With all the competition around the wholesale sector now from cash & carries and supermarkets threatening to encroach into serving small catering companies. I think combining will give us more strength. It will make us a hub of food, which can only be a good thing.” But on this announcement

the Chair Paul Walker wasn’t happy telling the Fruitnet news blog the site was the ‘lowest of the three they’d looked at’ and predicting it would net little support at the market.

MARKET TRADER, MAY 10 - 23, 2019

Ross-on-Wye Retail Market Herefordshire Contact:

Ross on Wye Town Council, Market Office, The Corn Exchange, 7 High Street, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire HR9 5HL.

Tel: 01989 562373 Email:

Thursday & Saturday

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