Christmas Eve market ban for March has mayor fuming - and she blasts Fenland Council chief executive Paul Medd for the decision

PUBLISHED: 17:18 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:18 19 November 2018

At loggerheads: Fenland chief executive Paul Medd has been on the receiving end of an angry outburst by the mayor of March, Cllr Jan French, over the fate of a market in March on Christmas Eve. Picture; CAMBS TIMES

At loggerheads: Fenland chief executive Paul Medd has been on the receiving end of an angry outburst by the mayor of March, Cllr Jan French, over the fate of a market in March on Christmas Eve. Picture; CAMBS TIMES

Archant

The mayor of March called Fenland District Council “a disgrace” after it banned the traditional Christmas Eve market.

Cllr Jan French said traders who supported the twice weekly market throughout the rest of the year were being denied their best trading day of the year.

She told council chief executive Paul Medd: “I go to March market every week and talk to the March traders who support our markets 52 weeks a year.

“I was appalled to find out from the traders that they were told on Saturday that they are not going to be allowed to have a market on Christmas Eve, which this year is on a Monday.”

The mayor said: “This is the best trading day for our market traders and to be told at this late stage no market is a disgrace.”

She said the butcher and other stall holders have been forced to tell customers there will be no market on Christmas Eve even though they have been taking orders for fresh meat and other supplies for many weeks.

“They were told by FDC staff on Saturday ‘tough’ and that they would have to make deliveries instead direct to customers.”

Cllr French said she was “appalled” by the attitude of council staff.

“But I suppose its portfolio decision,” she told Mr Medd.

“I suggest you as CEO get it sorted. This is a disgrace”.

A council spokesman said: “Traders have requested that a market is held in March on Christmas Eve.

“As this falls on a Monday, not a usual market day for March, we are awaiting a decision from members on whether it can take place.”

Cllr Kit Owen said councillors were elected to run the council and to direct officers.

He wondered if the ban on the Christmas Eve market was because the cleaners didn’t wish to work that day.

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