Negotiations are currently taking place between traders and the town council which it is hoped will lead to the reintroduction of the twice weekly markets on The Moor although there are concerns that unreasonable demands are being made of stall holders.
Last Thursday there was considerable resentment among traders on the piazza who claim they were given only a few days’ notice that the town council was closing the market even though many had been in business there for several years.
Peter Scott, who runs a stall with his wife Sue, said: “Some of us have been keeping it (the market) going through the winter and now just as things are getting interesting, with the Red Arrows and Tall Ships ahead, we are getting the rug pulled out from under us.”
Trader Gail Osborne added: “They (the council) are just making up things to justify a decision that was made a long time ago. They have been making it more and more difficult for us to trade, with more and more petty rules. There has been no consultation.”
The town council, though, claims it closed the market after the market manager terminated his agreement to run the markets on behalf of the council. The town council cannot legally run the markets itself.
After last Thursday’s final market, a meeting was arranged between a couple of traders, representing all of them, and the town manager, Richard Gates.
Town clerk, Mark Williams said: “The council has tasked the town manager and the event support assistant with rationalising future market provision on The Moor.
“The town manager has had a positive meeting with some of the former market traders with a view to them submitting a proposal to operate markets which will address the concerns that the council had.
“This will form part of Richard’s report to council when members will consider future operations.
They (the traders) are keen to get back in situ by May 31 for the Red Arrows so we will be working as quickly as we can and may have to call a special meeting of the council.”
Mr Gates added: “We would very much like to see a market continue on there, but with improvements made. We had a very productive meeting, so watch this space.”
One of the traders at Monday’s meeting, though, is concerned the council is asking too much.
John Wardle said: “They are trying to turn us into Truro, with matching marquees. I am not holding my breath, but let’s see how it goes.”