Norwich market traders want to know where their money is going

Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Traders are hoping to see more value for their money following proposals to increase rent and service charges at the city's markets.

Ron Fyfe at his Sixth Scents stall at Norwich Market. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ron Fyfe at his Sixth Scents stall at Norwich Market. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Around 30 stallholders could have to pay 15pc more on their rent as part of a series of changes put forward by Norwich City Council.

The local authority said the proposals, which also include a 42pc service charge increase, will help cover the market's expenses.

But some traders now want to know exactly where the extra money will go and what it will be spent on.

Ron Fyfe, who owns Sixth Scents, said he wanted to know what the service charge had been used for previously.

He added: 'I would also like to know where the extra money is going and it would be nice to know what plans they have for it.'

A council spokesman said the service charge covered repair work, cleaning, maintenance and waste management around the market.

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In the coming months the local authority will be installing new benches, lighting and signage along the aisles.

Mark Wright, chairman of the Norwich Market Traders Association, said the market had been 'neglected' for around six of the seven years he had been there.

But he noted that things had started to change in recent months and improvements were being made.

Under the current proposals, rent will stay the same for 134 stalls, will reduce for 16 and increase for 30 stalls.

The city council said it determined the pricing changes by using information from the National Association of British Markets Authorities.

Paul Westgate, who owns the computer game and DVD stall, OSG, said the rent increases was 'reasonable' given that it had not changed in a decade.

'The proposed 50pc rent increase was ridiculous, but 15pc is liveable. It will cost me £40 a month,' He added.

'But for that I would ideally like to see the market cleaned more often, even if it was just a token gesture.'

Kristina Fox, Norwich market manager, said: 'Our initial proposals for rent increase were rejected by the Norwich Market Traders' Association. We took on board all their arguments and reconsidered. We now think we've found an acceptable level for the small proportion of increases proposed.'