Yesterday, Knaresborough Town Council agreed to write to Harrogate Borough Council asking it to fully support the town’s 700-year-old market and not excessively burden its traders any further fees, following a Liberal Democrat motion.
Liberal Democrat Town Councillor and previous Mayor of Knaresborough, Andrew Willoughby, proposed ‘that town council writes to the Chief Executive of Harrogate Borough Council asking that he ensure Knaresborough’s historic weekly market is protected’.
Councillor Willoughby has asked that the council rule out any additional charges to traders, especially in relation for supply and erection of stalls, and that it ceases efforts to persuade traders to bring their own stalls.
Market traders have faced threats of increased rent and higher charges for their market stall assembly, an enforced move to self-erect stalls, and recently have had to fight to receive compensation for those colleagues not able to trade through lockdown. Liberal Democrat councillors are concerned that all this is putting the future of Knaresborough market under threat.
Councillor Andrew Willoughby said:
For the second time, Harrogate Borough Council are trying to push through a move to ‘self-erect’ market stalls, which will making trading impossible for some, mean more cancelled markets due to the less durable nature of these stalls, and as we have seen with Ripon –– a much-diminished market.
Seconding the motion, fellow Liberal Democrat councillor, Hannah Gostlow, said:
Knaresborough would not be the same without the market and the traders need a few years of stability now. I am asking for an open and honest approach from Harrogate Borough Council going forward, to stop any more surprises.
The motion was amended to include “and re-emphasise our support for Knaresborough Market, and the social & economic benefits it brings to the town” at the end.