‘Important we move forward’ - MP to discuss market concerns with traders
PUBLISHED: 16:30 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:58 24 August 2020
Adam Harding/Victoria Pertusa
A Norfolk MP will meet with traders and business owners to discuss ongoing concerns over their town’s market in the hopes of ‘moving forward.’
Liz Truss will be meeting with Downham Market traders and business owners on Monday, August 24 to discuss their complaints after weeks of controversy over safety measures and communication.
Earlier this month, business owners criticised Downham Market Town Council (DMTC) over its handling of the situation following the coronavirus shutdown, claiming its measures are adversely affecting the market and discouraging people from coming into town.
The authority has also been accused of trying to get rid of the facility.
But the town council said it has repeatedly denied accusations of shutting it down and is working on making it “bigger and better.”
Elaine Oliver, town clerk, said: “We want the market and want to keep it, we’re committed to opening it up on the other side and getting more people on.
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“The market needs the town and the town needs the market.”
The South West Norfolk MP said a meeting with traders and the town council this week was declined by the council who felt it is “no longer necessary.”
DMTC said an invitation for Wednesday, August 26 was declined but a separate one-to-one meeting with the town’s mayor and the MP was requested for today.
Ms Truss said: “I am keen to see this resolved as soon as possible. I am receiving a number of concerns from traders as well as businesses in the town in relation to the market.
“I do appreciate that Covid-19 has created a number of challenges, it is therefore even more important that we support our local businesses and have a thriving and dynamic market. The current unease and uncertainty must not continue.
“I believe the market is a fantastic feature in the town, attracts residents from the surrounding areas into the centre to do their shopping.
“It is therefore incredibly important that we move forward, find a resolution to the current issues and support our market and town centre businesses.”
DMTC will hold an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday, August 25 at 7pm on Zoom to discuss proposed changes to licences and regulations, which includes whether to revoke and replace existing market byelaws and licences and to adopt a new market licence and regulations.
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