A trader who has held a stall on Lichfield market for 25 years has criticised plans to move it to a new site to make way for a seating area.
Lichfield Place Board has put forward a proposal to create the socially distanced space on Market Square in a bid to support pubs and restaurants who face reduced capacity due to coronavirus restrictions.
It would see the traditional markets moved to Bird Street car park if the scheme was to go ahead.
But stallholder Garry Snape said while he felt for businesses facing challenges, it wasn’t fair for market traders to be penalised in order for pubs and restaurants to be helped.
“I have been on Lichfield market for 25 years selling plants on a Friday and Saturday.
“I’ve paid for that position on the market, so why should I lose my income?
“This is just a case of bullying – the cathedral will be next.
“I can understand the pubs having difficult times – we all are – but I wouldn’t expect them to move their business so I could sell my plants in their premises.”Market trader Garry Snape
Mr Snape said there were other options available to boost hospitality businesses which didn’t include uprooting market traders.
“They should leave the market where it has stood since 1153.
“Why not put the tables on the car park or better still open the streets up put tables outside the pubs? At least then it will be less congested.
“On the market we could leave the stalls up with gaps between them.”Market trader Garry Snape
People are now being asked to give their views on the idea before a final decision is made.
A spokesperson for Lichfield City Council:
“Lichfield Place Board have requested we make the Market Square available for socially-distanced seating and relocate the Markets to Bird St car park.
“The city council would welcome your comments on this proposal.”Lichfield City Council spokesperson
People can send their views to firstname.lastname@example.org.