Councils enforce market van ban

Pock market
Pock market

MOVES to ban stallhoders’ vans from the weekly market in Pocklington has been enforced.

The rule was agreed between Pocklington Town Council and East Riding Council in a bid to revitalise the weekly event.

Pocklington Town Council had received complaints from shopkeepers that vans were taking up pitches in the town and, in some cases, were blocking shop fronts from view.

Despite initial opposition from some stall holders, they have now agreed to move their vehicles to the youth club car park on New Street, thus creating more space for trading.

Those whose vans are integral to their pitch have been allowed to keep them in the town centre.

It was also agreed that stalls facing into the street would also be moved around to the Jubilee Monument and Victoria Square area of the town so as not to affect local shops.

There are hopes that the improved layout will help recapture the traditional atmosphere of a vibrant market place and new traders have been invited to attend the market to sell goods that previously were not sold.

Mayor of Pocklington, Councillor Graham Perry, said: “I am pleased that East Riding Council has listened to the concerns raised by the town council and has resolved them, particularly the matter of parking which had been a contentious issue for local shopkeepers for some time.

“The improved appearance of the Market Place and Victoria Square has made the market a far more attractive proposition and one which the town can be proud of.”

Councillor Symon Fraser, cabinet portfolio holder for environment, housing and planning, said: “I am really pleased to see all the ideas that have been considered and discussed, to improve the market, are now being put into place. The market is an important part of Pocklington’s heritage and it is crucial that the two councils work together to make sure it is providing the right attraction for the customers who visit the town.”

John Skidmore, head of streetscene services, added: “East Riding of Yorkshire Council, working in partnership with Pocklington Town Council, has improved layout and access to the market and is confident that these changes will make a big difference in ensuring long-term commercial viability for both the market and local traders going forward.”

Following the complaints from some shopkeepers, Pocklington Town Council had inquired about taking over control of the weekly market, but eventually shelved the idea.

However, market traders were left frustrated and questioned why Pocklington Town Council had not spoken to them directly. They were also angered by comments made by Councillor Perry with some saying they would fight the removal of the vans - especially as some paid for extra pitches to accomodate their vehicles.

Yet John Dyson, who runs a weekly pitch and is a member of the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) , said: “The majority of market traders at Pocklington market support these changes, which we hope will improve business for the market and the surrounding shops.”

Meanwhile, a continental market is planned for Sunday, 27 November, which is hoped will attract new market shoppers to the town.