Traders up in arms over weddings plan

NILA 29-8-13 MC 7'Ilkeston Market Traders angry over Erewash Council's plans to make town hall a registry office

NILA 29-8-13 MC 7'Ilkeston Market Traders angry over Erewash Council's plans to make town hall a registry office

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Market traders fear losing their livelihood if plans are given the go-ahead to hold weddings at Ilkeston Town Hall.

Erewash Borough Council has been battling to move the registry office from Lord Haddon Road to the iconic Market Place building.

But stall-holders including, Geoff and Nicki Healey, and burger van owner Dean Godden, who trade in front of the Town Hall have been told they will have to move, which they say could mean the end of their businesses.

They have blasted the council’s lack of consultation and claim it doesn’t care about Ilkeston’s market.

“This stall is being built up for my lads to take over,” said Mr Healey, who sells toiletries on market days.

“We are trying to get Ilkeston going and they are trying to crush the market down until there’s nothing left.

“I don’t think they want a market. But it’s not up to them – this market was given by charter to the people of Ilkeston in 1210.”

The council said it is ‘working with traders to find an agreeable solution’.

But the Healeys said they have been offered pitches in front of the library, which they nickname ‘death alley’ because of the lack of trade there.

Dean Godden is left wondering where the tables and chairs for his burger van business would go.

“I wouldn’t be able to carry on at all,” he said.

The reason for the move, the traders say, is so they do not spoil couple’s wedding photographs on the steps of the Town Hall.

“They haven’t consulted us about it,” added Mrs Healey.

“They told us three weeks ago when they’ve known since June. It’s all being done behind closed doors.”