Falmouth’s market traders were back on The Moor on Saturday following an emergency meeting of the town council which saw a new way ahead agreed between councillors and the new market manager.
Two weeks ago, the Thursday and Saturday markets on The Moor were brought to a rather abrupt end following complaints about its appearance and the resignation of the previous manager.
Traders were angry about being given such short notice and appealed for another chance. They had particularly wanted to be able to cash in on the crowds that were expected in town ahead of the Red Arrows display so meetings were quickly held and John Wardle agreed to become the interim manager.
At a special meeting of Falmouth Town Council on Thursday night, town manager Richard Gates explained the situation and put three options before councillors.
He said: “We have received a lot of comments over time about the quality of the market, not necessarily about the items being sold, but the appearance of the stalls and how they are scattered about.
“We want to create a stronger market. The farmers’ market adds value to the area and that brings more people into the area on that day, but I don’t think the same can be said for the Thursday and Saturday markets. We want to get symmetry with all the stalls in one particular area.”
Three options were on the table. The first proposed an immediate improvement of the layout of the market to enable it to be back on The Moor in time for the Red Arrows and that within a month there should be an improvement in the quality of the stalls with uniformed banners/awnings.
Option two suggested the town council buys uniformed stalls for the stall holders to hire, but this was considered too expensive. The third option was that the markets do not continue in their present form.
The council unanimously supported option one and agreed that the town manager work with Mr Wardle to come up with a united colour for the stall holders.
Councillor Steve Eva had said: “I, along with everybody around this table, do not want anybody to have their livelihood taken away. I was quite shocked to find the market had closed.
“We should see how it goes for six months and if we still find it’s not right we can revisit it. Mr Wardle has offered to be market manager so that’s that problem sorted, but they have to start putting their house in order and have to accept that other things on The Moor have to happen.”
Mr Wardle attended the meeting and said he was pleased with the council’s response which saw them back at work on Saturday. He also hoped the market would prove more popular in time. “If we can get the appearance of the market looking a bit better, it may encourage more stall holders to join us,” he said.