Market traders will be able to pitch for free on an annual Erewash Market Day in Ilkeston and Long Eaton after councillors gave the scheme the thumbs-up.
Opposition Labour councillors suggested during the full council meeting on Thursday that they hope the day will encourage new entrepreneurs to ‘gain a low cost foothold in the retail trade’ by taking advantage of the offer.
Introducing the motion, Cllr John Frudd, who runs a barbers shop in Ilkeston town centre, said: “Ilkeston is in danger of becoming derelict –action must be taken as a matter of some urgency.
Cllr Margaret Griffiths said of her party’s plan: “It’s got a long way to go but it’s a good beginning. Put Ilkeston o the map and see what it is that attracts people to the market.”
In a rare show of cross party unity, Tory councillors unanimously backed the plan.
Cllr Geoff Smith, in charge of planning and regeneration, said: “The markets are thriving at the present time –they are better than they have been for many, many years.
“But I would have no objection to a lot of the ideas in this proposal, providing the views of existing traders are taken into consideration.”
The Tories also supported Labour on another part of the motion to convince landlords of properties in the town centre to take more responisbility for their upkeep.
Cllr Frank Phillips said: “This borough has a range of options open to it from applying existing legislation to seeking new bylaws to get landlords to maintina their properties.
“Badly neglected properties not only look unsightly they also affect neighbouring properties both visually and physically.”
A date has not been set for Erewash Market Day but both parties are set to enter discussions.