Traders have had a pretty raw deal
SO the Ashford market saga goes on. Last week Ashford borough council’s executive received a report detailing how the first three months after the market’s relocation to the lower end of the High Street had gone. Early days but pretty good, that seems to be the general assessment of council officers’ findings – but then you’d expect them to say that, wouldn’t you? But that blatantly contradicts the feelings of market traders – most of whom say they’ve suffered a 50 per cent drop in their trade since being forcibly moved from their more central location to where they are now. Some rather vague promises about better signage and the provision of power points were put forward at the executive meeting but nothing that is seriously likely to dispel the traders’ dissatisfaction. We’ve said it before .... Ashford needs a vibrant, lively and attractive town centre market. We don’t feel the council has done enough to help the stallholders and even what was agreed at last week’s meeting seems rather superficial. The next few months is traditionally the time of year when markets do well. Christmas is a peak trading time and a colourful market offering bargains could give other shops in Ashford a boost, and vice versa. We reckon the existing traders have been given a pretty raw deal so far and say the council should be more proactive and supportive towards the market. We will be keeping a close eye on what happens over the next few months and expecting the council to keep to its promises.