Market a 'letdown'

PUBLISHED: 08:42 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:56 15 June 2010

HONITON'S street market was portrayed in a shocking light through photographs, produced by traders, during a public meeting in the town.

HONITON'S street market was portrayed in a shocking light through photographs, produced by traders, during a public meeting in the town last week.A proliferation in charity shops, highlighted by business leaders as a threat to the future viability of the town centre, was hardly mentioned as a packed council chamber heard complaint after complaint about the market - perceived as Honiton's biggest attraction for over 750 years.Business owners, who attended a meeting jointly called by Honiton Town Council and Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, unleashed complaint after complaint about the market, saying it is "rubbish" and a deterrent, not an attraction, to shoppers.Some said their customers are avoiding Honiton on market days, because of the shoddy look of the market and over-subscribed parking in the town.Photographs, taken by at least one shop owner, were circulated during the meeting, held last Wednesday, and depicted the market as a glorified car boot sale.Fed up traders in High Street and New Street say tatty stalls are letting the town down and that higher quality stallholders are snubbing Honiton in favour of Bridport, in West Dorset, on Saturdays.They want urgent action taken to smarten up the appearance of the market and for junk sellers to be turned away.Pictures shown to town and district councillors, as well as chamber officials, showed tatty secondhand goods being sold from boxes placed in the road.Traders were also unimpressed that only two stallholders supported last year's Market Charter Day.


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