The traders at the centre of Market Rasen’s market stall eviction row have taken legal action in a bid to save their business.
In January Jennie North and Bryan Spittlehouse, who run North’s fruit and veg stall, were served an eviction notice by Market Rasen Town Council ordering them to vacate by April 8.
The council claimed the trader had repeatedly broken rules - and had been sent several disciplinary letters, dating back to 2012, for ‘moving council property’, opening the market without ‘correct authorisation’ and ‘unacceptable behaviour’.
More than 2,300 people have signed a petition calling for the eviction to be revoked - and now the couple have appointed a solicitor to act on their behalf.
The traders’ solicitor has written to the council - and its solicitor - challenging the actions that have been taken.
Mr Spittlehouse and Mrs North say they have been left baffled by the eviction saying “it doesn’t make any sense”.
Ms North said: “The last couple of weeks we’ve started to lose business because of what’s going on.
“The council’s going to pay for this now we’re going to have to go down this route (legal).
“Unfortunately that’s the way it’s got to be.
“We don’t even know if we’re going to be here, come April 8 .
“We need to be moving on.”
Mr Spittlehouse said: “We’re still hopeful the right decision will come to fruition.”
And Mr Spittlehouse said he believed the council would also have to consider the petition signed by thousands of residents in the town.
Market Rasen mayor John Matthews said: “Ms North and Mr Spittlehouse have, since 2012, been issued several disciplinary notices warning about their behaviour and code of conduct, all of which are recorded.
“These letters of warning are not issued lightly. None of these have been contested or challenged.
“Traders on the Market Place, for which we the council have full liability, must abide by health and safety and code of conduct practices.
“Those traders who fail to abide by the regulations must face a warning or disciplinary hearings.
“Those who continue to ignore them must accept the consequences.”
North’s fruit and veg stall has served the town since 1958.
Mrs North’s parents started the stall in 1958 and her brother took over in 2000.
Mr Spittlehouse and Mrs North have run the stall for about 10 years.
North’s is in town on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Shopper Eva Smith said: “I’d miss this place dreadfully - sometimes this stall is the only one here.
“If the council want to make it a market town, this is ridiculous.
“It’s another blow to the town.
“It’d be lost without it, it’s absolutely vital.”