AFTER an absence of just over four years, we have recently returned to live in Chichester and on my first day back I went to the Saturday market as I had done each week in the past.
I was surprised to see that the size of the market had halved and saddened that parking rates are now 70p for the first hour. Previously there had been no charge before 10am.
On speaking to some of the stallholders I learned that they were concerned about a proposal to move the market into the centre of the town.
Surely this must present a problem for stallholders to load and unload their wares easily and pretty much impossible for large vans like the Malpass meat van to park in the middle of a Chichester street.
What is the response of local shops whose access and possibly custom would be compromised?
The market used to represent, as in continental markets, a hub for the community to meet, where people could pass the time of day, spend time together and exchange news. In a world where community values and meeting places are being eroded, the reduction in such a previously vibrant and lively aspect of the city is very sad.
The cost of for a stallholder for the morning is £150 and for the Malpass lorry is £300. Does the council see the importance of income more important than the wellbeing of its citizens?