Celebrations as council bosses scrap unpopular market changes
Traders in Castleford are celebrating after council bosses scrapped unpopular changes to the market just four weeks into a trial.
Outdoor stallholders raised concerns about an experimental new layout which saw the usual double line of pitches on Carlton Street reduced to a single line.
The move cut the number of available pitches by almost a third, from 54 to 38, and traders said it was putting their Christmas trade in jeopardy.
But following a meeting on Friday, the council has now decided to restore the original set up.
Traders spokesman Phil Dobson said: “A lot of traders thought it looked worse, that it didn’t look like a market anymore and that the stalls were facing the wrong way. The council’s main concern was with empty stalls, which is something all markets suffer from so I can understand why they did it, they want to make it look more full.
“They trialled the single line of stalls and I’m surprised they have gone back to it before Christmas.
“This is really positive news.”
Mr Dobson and many of the traders said ward councillor and Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, Denise Jeffery, had been key to the latest decision, while he said the Express’ coverage had also helped.
He added: “Denise really listened to us, she helped up considerably. The story did get people talking and made the market officers sit up and take a bit more notice.”
Coun Jeffery said: “The decision was taken because it has not worked and the traders contacted me to say they were losing money.
“I saw the article , in the Express, and I thought enough was enough.
“The market officers wanted to smarten it up but I went and had a look for myself and it did not look all that much better.
“The thing that matters to me is that the market is the mainstay of the town, and it matters that it thrives because it brings people in. I know how valuable it is.”
Coun Jeffery said she was hoping to push through further investment into the market early next year, and that traders would be consulted before any decision is made.