Town council in market takeover?

Pock market
Pock market

THE POPULAR Pocklington market could soon be the subject of an audacious bid by local councillors, who want to take it over.

Local councillors discussed the issue at a recent meeting and all but one member agreed that an approach should be made to East Riding Council about taking over the market, which is held on a Tuesday.

Some councillors feel that the local authority have not handled certain market-related issues well in the past, including the recent dispute between traders and shopkeepers about the positioning of stalls.

Some shop owners said they were unhappy with traders who faced their stalls away from shops and forced people to walk down the middle of Market Place and not on the paths, missing out shops completely.

Coun Jeff Shepherd believes Pocklington Town Council is in a better position to deal with the market.

He said: “We don’t want to particularly change the market but there are situations where shopkeepers haven’t been listened to.

“I don’t think East Riding have addressed issues to a satisfactory conclusion.

“I think we would be in a better position to deal with it.

“We can’t move forward unless East Riding say it is an option.”

In response to the disagreement between traders and shopkeepers, an inspector from East Riding Council visited the market to ask traders to trade from both sides.

Some of them complied but others said they would only do so in the summer when the weather improved.

Coun Shepherd said: “Shops are getting blocked up by stalls and vans.

“East Riding are supposed to have asked traders and they said they will change in the summer. In my eyes they haven’t done that.”

East Riding Council have said they have no plans to hand over any of their markets.

A spokesperson said: “The council [East Riding] directly manages Pocklington (Tuesday) and Beverley (Saturday) markets and has lease agreements with co-operatives for Bridlington (Wednesday and Saturday), Cottingham (Thursday) and Beverley (Wednesday).

“There are a number of markets managed by town councils (Goole and Driffield are two such examples) but the council does not have any plans to hand over any of our markets.

“We will, of course, listen to what Pocklington Town Council might have to say to us.”