Barking Market jobs set to be saved despite public square works
PUBLISHED: 09:55 26 March 2012
»The jobs of Barking Market traders appear to be looking safe after town planners moved to compromise on disruptive public square works.
The street sellers collected 1,200 signatures to push for an overhaul of proposals they feared would split their shopping street in half and wipe out up to 100 stalls.
The East Street traders voiced concerns their careers would be ruined but market management firm Charfleets now maintains the sellers have been given assurances they could return to the new square once the works are complete.
In a further sign a compromise may be struck, town planners are said to have agreed to carry out the landscaping works, due to start this spring, by concentrating on small areas and move the traders to prominent locations.
Barking and Dagenham Council said an area of the new square, between Clockhouse Avenue and the new Technical Skills Academy being built off London Road, would have to be clear of stalls to allow emergency vehicles to get through.
The Labour-run council also pledged to carry out the works in two separate phases to minimise disruption, relocate the traders and consider opening the market for an extra day on Mondays.
Barking Market manager Frank Nash, 52, said: “It’s a great compromise. It’s a great example of the council listening to the traders, town and public alike. This is a victory for common sense on both sides.”
Street clothes seller Imtiaz Chaudhry, 38, of Hulse Avenue, Barking, said: “If the works are fine and they bring us back it will be all right. I’ve had this business for 13 years, I don’t want to lose it.
“I like this compromise. I’m not happy I will have to move, but I’m very happy I will go back and carry on with the business.”
A council spokesman said: “The council needs to look at how any traders who may be displaced can be accommodated elsewhere and is willing to consider the possible opening of the market on a Monday.”