Press accused of causing 'conflict'

PUBLISHED: 13:01 24 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:58 15 June 2010

YOUR Midweek Herald should have put a positive spin on issues raised by Honiton's traders during a recent public meeting, according to Deputy Mayor Councillor Vivienne Ash.

YOUR Midweek Herald should have put a positive spin on issues raised by Honiton's traders during a recent public meeting, according to Deputy Mayor Councillor Vivienne Ash.Speaking at a policy committee meeting on Monday, she described the event as "positive" and said the Herald had honed in on a negative aspect, causing "conflict" between different groups in the town.She was referring to damning comments, made by shopkeepers and reported by the Herald, about Honiton's ancient street market, which included: "It's rubbish."Not one trader out of 35 in the room counteracted complaint after complaint about the market during an open forum.Former mayor Councillor Vernon Whitlock told Monday night's meeting he also thought the initiative had been positive and that he was encouraged to see so many people there.Town and district councillor Peter Halse said the real issue was competition - between stallholders who pay "fairly small fees" and shopkeepers who pay "large amounts in rates"."Competition, that's what it's all about," he said. "It's been going on for centuries - for 750 years."Councillor Richard Gaughan said councillors were not in a position to dictate to reporters what they write.Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry will now take the lead on addressing issues raised at the public meeting, with support from the council.The chamber will host a meeting at the Senior Citizens' Centre on July 23.Market supervisor Terry Farebrother, who was not at the public meeting but who took comments about the market personally, is to receive a written vote of thanks from the town council.


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