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Market closure proposals are blasted by angry Batley stallholders

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Angry market traders claimed their livelihoods were at risk after Kirklees Council revealed Batley and Birstall’s markets could be axed.

Stallholders were not consulted by the local authority, and were left reeling after finding out about the plans by reading the News.

The move comes as the council tries to cut £70m over the next three years, bringing its savings (to £152m) by the end of the financial year 2017-2018.

The two markets are said by the council to be making losses, but traders insisted there was still a need for them in the town.

Stephen Early, of long-standing clothing stall Rothery’s, said: “At the end of the day the market is a public service and people expect us to be here on a Friday.

“Our business has been in the family for more than 100 years and it is all we have known all of our lives.

“We know the situation with Kirklees Council and the cuts they are facing. We are willing to work with them and be flexible but we have heard nothing.”

Syliva Thacker, who runs the hangbag stall, said no-one from the council had been in touch about the proposed plans.

“We have heard nothing at all from them,” she said.

“Both Batley and Birstall still need a market place because people to come to us for certain things.

“We all know Tesco is killing the high street but people still come to us because we sell things that they do not have.”

The Pet Stall owner Nicola Firth added: “They come to us because it is more personal and we get to know our customers.

“They feel they can come to you, have a bit of a chat and if we do not have what they need then we will order it in.”

Kirklees Council leader David Sheard previously told the News more important areas had to be prioritised, and that the council was already spending £75.6m on child care and £92.1m on adult care this year.

 

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