Alford and Spilsby market fears raised

CONTROVERSIAL plans to move a market to another day have sparked fears for the future of those of Alford and Spilsby.

Moves are afoot to move Mablethorpe’s market to a Tuesday, in direct competition with Alford’s market.

Alford Town Council are planning a public meeting to air traders’ fears that Mablethorpe market’s move to a Tuesday could damage their independent market.

East Lindsey District Council plans to move Mablethorpe’s market from a Thursday to a Tuesday from next month in order to be able to transport stalls using a single new vehicle rather than the existing two.

Alford’s Town Clerk, Linda Croft, said: “Traders and business owners are extremely concerned Mablethorpe moving to a Tuesday will affect trade.

“Alford has had its weekly market on a Tuesday for a number of years, and traders don’t want that to change.”

“We’re hoping between ourselves, Mablethorpe Town Council and the district council that we can thrash something out.”

ELDC have confirmed they are in talks over a ‘local management solution’ which could see the market stay on a Thursday under the town council.

Len Evans, who has had a fruit and veg stall on Mablethorpe market alongside his wife Linda, also operates out of Spilsby’s market.

He has warned that the move could prevent him from operating out of Spilsby on a Monday, sparking concerns that other traders might also feel the pinch.

He said: “The move to the High Street has been fantastic, but the change of day would be bad news for me.

“People buy their veg from me on a Thursday for their Sunday dinners, but they won’t want to be buying as early as Tuesday, so I’ll suffer.

“I also trade at Spilsby on a Monday, I’d have to give that up.

“What really gripes me is the fact that none of these decision makers seem to have visited the new market to see just how good it is now.”

District Councillor Craig Leyland said: “The district council is aware of the potential impact that moving Mablethorpe Market to a Tuesday may have on Alford.

“The need to change the day for Mablethorpe is purely down to the fact that the council cannot afford to purchase two new replacement market vehicles in order to sustain the current programme when moving Mablethorpe to a Tuesday would mean that only one vehicle would be required.

“We need to improve our markets, making them the thriving places they once were, and ensure they contribute to the wider economy in our market towns for the benefit of taxpayers who subsidise the markets.”

Alford Town Council’s planned public meeting will be held on Thursday, May 24 at 7pm at the Corn Exchange, Alford.