Rasen council hits back at ‘empty market’ jibes

Market Rasen Market Place on 'market' day
Market Rasen Market Place on 'market' day

Market Rasen Town Council has hit back at claims it turned down a would-be trader who was keen to have a stall on its struggling market.

The council came under fire last week after the town’s market failed attract a single stall on at least three occasions at the end of January - when its one plant stallholder was on annual leave.

And keen plant seller Ben Neave told the Mail he could not understand why the town council refused his licence when he applied for a stall, saying he sells ‘completely different plants’ to the existing plant stall.

Market Rasen Town Council bookings clerk Kerrie Nicholson said: “I can recall speaking to a gentleman about registering to trade.

“The gentleman described his goods as plants.

“Under our current regulations, Market Rasen Town Council do operate a no competition policy.

“Mr Neave didn’t explain to me that his products were different to our current plant trader.

“If Mr Neave is selling different products we would love for him to register to trade on our market.

“Mr Neave is welcome to give us a call to discuss further an application to trade.

“We do need to ensure that we abide by our no competition policy.

“We do need to speak to applicants to discuss registrations, at this stage a decision cannot be made until it has been looked into.”

Ms Nicholson said Saturday’s market (February 2) had a ‘political party’ stall and that its regular plant trader would be returning ‘during February, date to be confirmed’.

Market Rasen town clerk Faye Lambkin-Smith added: “If Mr Neave is selling different products then we would welcome Mr Neave on our Market Place.

“MRTC operates a no competition policy on general market days.

“Applicants wishing to trade in goods provided by an existing trader will be refused a licence to trade.”

Resident Richard Brooks, who witnessed the empty markets, said: “It was very disappointing and sad to see.”