‘We both have lessons to learn’ - councillors agree to move forward on market

Market on the Town Hall Car Park in Downham Market. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Market on the Town Hall Car Park in Downham Market. Picture: Sarah Hussain - Credit: Archant

A long-running row over a town market could be over after councillors agreed lessons have been learned and that it is time to move forward.

Downham Market mayor Becky Hayes. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Downham Market mayor Becky Hayes. Picture: Sarah Hussain - Credit: Archant

Some 2,800 people have signed a petition protesting at how Downham Market Town Council has run the market since the first lockdown ended.

Organiser Trevor Pearce said: “Both the traders and the townsfolk, taking Covid into account, have stated that the way the market has been run has very seriously damaged their business.

“The public were ferried in and out of the market. You can advise the public but you cannot physically police the public.”

Mayor Becky Hayes asked what the aim of the petition was, because its wording was unclear.

'Save our Market' leaflet on display in a Downham Market business. Picture: Sarah Hussain

'Save our Market' leaflet on display in a Downham Market business. Picture: Sarah Hussain - Credit: Archant

Mr Pearce said the campaign group had wanted members of the market strategy committee to stand down.

MORE: Call for council and traders to find resolution to ensure future of market

Councillor Charlie Pyatt said: “It really is a pity it comes to this, that the market traders and the residents of Downham Market feel that this council is not working within legislation.


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“There are faults on both sides, but what is the petition meant to achieve? We seem to have hit a stalemate.

The market on the Town Hall Car Park in Downham Market. Picture: Adam Harding

The market on the Town Hall Car Park in Downham Market. Picture: Adam Harding - Credit: Archant

“I think we’ve handled it appallingly but I hope with thought and help we can put this right but we need to work together.”

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Mr Pearce told the council that both sides had to come to a mutual understanding to move forward, which meant “not too many rules or regulations”.

Mrs Hayes said: “I think we both have lessons to learn.”

The mayor asked councillors to consider their positions and councillors Cissy Lightfoot, Alan Pickering and Jackie Westrop responded stating that they intent to remain and “continue to improve and expand” the market.

The market on the Town Hall Car Park in Downham Market. Picture: Adam Harding

The market on the Town Hall Car Park in Downham Market. Picture: Adam Harding - Credit: Archant

Mrs Hayes said: “We are in unusual times, Covid had never hit before but our hope and intentions were to keep the people of Downham Market safe and protect them. We will try to go forward, and make the market bigger and better.”

READ MORE: Councillors respond to ‘abuse’ and calls for vote of no confidence following market petition

The market on the Town Hall Car Park in Downham Market. Picture: Adam Harding

The market on the Town Hall Car Park in Downham Market. Picture: Adam Harding - Credit: Archant

The market on the Town Hall Car Park in Downham Market. Picture: Adam Harding

The market on the Town Hall Car Park in Downham Market. Picture: Adam Harding - Credit: Archant

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