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Market traders praise council after it cuts prices for stalls

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Traders have praised the borough council after it took control of Crawley Market and reduced the price of stalls.

The council took over management of the market from Countrywide and held its first market on August 13.

Graham Woodley, 48, of Henfield, has run the High Street burger stall for eight years. He said: “I’m just pleased that the council are in control of it and it’s a lot more positive.

“They have decreased the rates and are trying to encourage more traders.

“There are people showing interest which there hasn’t been for a long time.”

Jane and Mark Sewell, who run the mobile phone stall, said in an email to the council: “We have for a long time been unsettled not knowing what would happen.

“The council has worked hard to ensure the market traders are happy and we will work with you to make the market both happy and we all hope successful in the future.”

Phil Fyfiel, of the plant stall and Hardeep Singh, of the bedding stall, also praised the council’s management.

Two new traders have joined the market after the handover.

A spokesman for Crawley Borough Council said a “mutual” agreement was settled after Countrywide asked for a rent reduction before the handover.

The company had raised concerns over the survival of the Friday and Saturday markets in the High Street.

The council had made no decision over how long its current rates - £32.90 per trader per day in Queens Square and £10 for the High Street - would last.

The council was looking at its options over the future of the markets.

The spokesman said it was organising research to include engagement with the traders.

Cllr Peter Smith, cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said: “We are doing all the we can to meet our commitment to support a successful market in Crawley including improving the profitability of the market for the traders. We are also working to develop a viable and economically sustainable overall longer-term solution for the market.”

 

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