More food fairs will boost trade in Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 09:57 17 July 2009 | UPDATED: 21:49 31 May 2010

HOLDING more food fairs on Saffron Walden Common could force the town s existing market traders to up their game , a councillor has claimed. The comments were made at a meeting of Saffron Walden Town Council in response to criticism that the French marke

HOLDING more food fairs on Saffron Walden Common could force the town's existing market traders to 'up their game', a councillor has claimed.

The comments were made at a meeting of Saffron Walden Town Council in response to criticism that the French market, which was held last month, may have drawn trade away from the regular market.

Cllr Patrick Boland said that London stallholders sold produce which was "cheaper, better and nicer" than what was on offer in Saffron Walden.

He added that competition from food fairs held on the Common "might make the current traders lift their wares".

The council discussed the possibility of holding a three-day German food market on the Common during the winter months and spending £1000 on protecting the grass during the event.

Cllr Cliff Treadwell said the benefits of holding more food fairs on the Common would have to be balanced against the affect this would have on the regular market traders.

"It does worry me how this conflicts with the existing traders who are here all year round paying their rates," he said. "We need to give this some very careful consideration."

Proposing the motion, Cllr Keith Eden said the traders had not suffered from the French market because it had brought more footfall into the town. He added that if the cost of protecting the grass exceeded £1000 they would have to reconsider the viability of the plan.

Cllr Jim Ketteridge said he was "saddened" that some people saw the French market as a detriment to the town.

"The object was to bring more trade into Saffron Walden and it succeeded in doing this," he said. "I would have no problem in looking into the possibility of holding a three-day market on the Common during the winter as I think it would be a good promotion for the town."

The town council agreed the idea in principal subject to being able to protect the grass at a cost of £1000.

DO you think holding a three-day German market on the Common is a good idea? Let us know by email editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk


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