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Traders angry at Deal Town Council’s suggestion to move market to Friday

By Eleanor Perkins

Traders at Deal Town Council’s Wednesday Market are appealing for support as fear of closure grows.

Stallholders in the Undercroft at Deal Town Hall were presented with a letter from the district council earlier this month, proposing to “revitalise and refresh” the market.

The letter read: “One idea for consideration is to move the Wednesday Market to Fridays, as it is expected the town will be busier and it will catch people visiting for long weekends, especially during the summer months.”

The traders at Deal Town Council's Wednesday Market

It continued: “If the council decide to go ahead with this idea then there will also need to be a concerted advertising campaign to support it.”

This came as a surprise to traders, none of whom were part of the decision-making process. Many have voiced concerns and anger.

Stallholder Jenny Knight said: “Five of us can’t come on a Friday. It’s fair to say we do have quiet Wednesdays, but we’ve given them other suggestions and ways of promotion.

“Why can’t they work harder to promote it on a Wednesday?”

Trader Gina Parker, 80, who sells meat from Beach Tree Farm, has a stall at another market on Fridays.

She has collected a petition on her stall with more than 75 signatures.

She said: “All the customers have said they like the mid week market because it breaks the week up.”

Near-by shops are also concerned that the market may no longer be on a Wednesday.

Manager of the No Name Shop, Jan Nayler, said: “The midweek market is brilliant. It brings a lot of trade in to me. To have one on Fridays seems pointless to me.

“Deal won High Street of the Year. Why start mucking around with it?”

Town clerk Lorna Crow said: “We’re willing to take all views into consideration. This was just the initial proposal.

"The main drive isn’t about money, it’s about having a thriving market with happy traders.

“We’re not trying to get rid of Wednesdays, there is the possibility of having it on both days.”

Jenny Knight added: “If you wish to support the Wednesday market please come along and see us between 9am and 1pm to express your views.

“We need a midweek market.”

A decision will be made at the town’s full council meeting on Wednesday, April 30.

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