Traders call to be given control of Doncaster Market

Doncaster Market traders Pat Queen, Tony Wagstaff and Mick Maye
Doncaster Market traders Pat Queen, Tony Wagstaff and Mick Maye

Doncaster market traders have called on council bosses to let them take over the running of the site.

Traders say they have lost confidence in their authority and are unhappy with maintenance on the sight, its cleanliness , as well as other day to day issues.

Bosses at the council say they are prepared to meet traders and will work with them to deal with concerns.

Traders say they have experienced issues with the new stalls including the drainage of the area, and the amount of wind which blows through the site.

Doncaster Market Traders Federation president Mick Maye said: “We would like the opportunity to control the market ourselves. We don’t want to own buildings or control the finance, just the day-to-day running.

“We have no confidence in Doncaster Council to control it.

“There are issues of maintenance, lighting, cleanliness - all sorts of things . It is a great market if it is run properly.

“We have a PA system. Last year we decorated the market at Christmas and asked for music. They wouldn’t do anything until it had gone through the mayor.”

Traders have also recently complained over changes to the way traders pay their rent, which is now being paid blocks of four weeks, with two weeks in advance and two weeks in arrears.

Doncaster Council’s assistant director of trading services, Dave Wilkinson, defended the way the council runs the market, and said the concerns had not been raised with his department before.

He said he went down to the market and spoke to traders every two weeks, with the departmental director going there more frequently.

He said he disagreed with any suggestion that the market was dirty, although there had been issues in the past.

The council had put massive investment in the market recently, including refurbishing the toilets and the preparation area.

“They are as clean as I have seen them in a long time, and I’ve been using the market for 50 years,” he said.

Of the issue of wind in the stalls, he added £1 million had been invested in the markets, including putting new stalls in place.

“There will be teething problems, but we are working with engineers to sort those out,” he added.

The recent changes to the way rent was collected were because cuts meant the council could no longer afford to send people round to collect cash.