Wakefield Cafe traders ‘forced out’

Roy and Debbie Gregson have run a cafe on Wakefield's outdoor market since it opened in 2008, but they have now quit after being told to move to the edge of the market.
Roy and Debbie Gregson have run a cafe on Wakefield's outdoor market since it opened in 2008, but they have now quit after being told to move to the edge of the market.

MARKET traders say they were forced out after being told to move their stall to “death corner”.

Roy and Debbie Gregson have quit Wakefield Market, having run a cafe there since it reopened on Union Street in 2008.

They claim they were asked to move to makeway for new traders under a market reshuffle.

Council chiefs told them to move to edge of the outdoor site, which the Gregsons said is exposed to rain and next to the bus station which puts customers off.

Mr Gregson, of Lofthouse, said: “This edge of the market is actually known as ‘death corner’. It is always the last bit to be filled.

“We have many regular customers and it is a social experience for a lot of them.

“But who is going to want to come and sit next to the entrance to the bus station?”

Mrs Gregson said she had traded on Wakefield’s old market for 18 years.

She said: “For elderly people it has become a bit of a meeting place. But the council hasnot tried to meet us in the middle, it has just said move or leave.”

Ben Cook, service manager for markets, said traders had been consulted over plans to reallocate market stalls.

He said: “Where possible we have tried to give traders their preferred location but unfortunately have not been able to do this in every case.

“We also have had to keep in mind the success of the market, taking on board all comments and feedback from traders, market staff and environmental health officers.

“The new layout has allowed us to create a catering area at the bottom of the market, a designated seating area and to open up the view of the market from Trinity Walk.

“It is a shame that one trader has decided to cease trading because of the allocation of their new pitch but we do believe that the right decisions have been made to benefit the market as a whole.”