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Mayor assures market traders

PUBLISHED: 13:20 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:29 07 July 2010

LETTERS have been given out to Dereham market traders from mayor John Gretton assuring them the town council is committed to returning the market to the town centre - and not turning it into "an enormous car boot sale.

LETTERS have been given out to Dereham market traders from mayor John Gretton assuring them the town council is committed to returning the market to the town centre - and not turning it into “an enormous car boot sale.”

Mr Gretton decided to

write to stallholders

after fellow town councillor Michael Fanthorpe said

there were only “seven or eight” stalls on the market and he said antique sellers should be allowed a stall for £5.

Mr Fanthorpe's comments during last Tuesday's markets committee meeting were reported on the front page of the Times and Mr Gretton said he wanted to stress to stallholders they were “the personal opinion of an individual councillor and not the collective view of Dereham Town Council.”

In his letter, Mr Gretton said: “I was particularly concerned at the statement that the number of regular stalls has dropped to seven or eight. Although this figure is correct for the Tuesday market, the figure for

the Friday market stands at 23. This will give the public the misleading impression that the market is only

one-third of the size it actually is.”

During Tuesday's meeting Mr Fanthorpe said “emergency measures” were needed to stop the market dying and he envisaged “an enormous five-star car boot sale.”

Mr Gretton added: “The councillor who mentioned an enormous car boot sale was in fact thinking of Fakenham where the auction is accompanied by traders in small antiques. This is, of course, separate from Fakenham's provisions market and quite unlike the traditional face of Dereham Friday Market.”

He added that the town council was committed to seeing the Friday market back in the Market Place, but the county council has to first do work on a new bus interchange.

Mr Gretton has asked stallholders for their views on publicising the market, including special events and promotions.

Town councillors have agreed an increase in charges at the Assembly Rooms. There was no blanket rise, but each user group will be dealt with individually.

How markets are doing in and around the county - see page 16

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