DALSTON might be changing, but Ridley Road Market is here to stay thanks to Hackney Labour.
We know how important the Council run street market is to Dalston’s community ─ it is the beating heart of Dalston.
Many are worried about our changing town centres, made worse by the perfect storm of Tory government business rate hikes and rising rents. Much of this change is beyond our control but where we can we have been doing everything to protect what people love the most about our town centres.
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Markets, said:
“In Dalston we are investing into and protecting Ridley Road street market, we are securing the future of the Eastern Curve Garden and Dalston’s affordable workspace so local businesses that made Dalston the vibrant place it is today have a stake in its growing economy.
Award in 2019 for innovation of the year for Hackney’s markets from NABMA (National Association of British Market Authorities) – for the Trading Places training scheme for traders.
The proposed change to market trader fees at Ridley Road street market have prompted people to ask why and why now?
Market trader fees have been frozen for the last three years but costs for managing the refuse and recycling from the market, clearing up at the end of the day and making sure that traders and customers are safe during trading hours have risen over this time.
Add to this the cuts to the Councils budget imposed by Tory led austerity and it’s time to review everyone’s contribution.
For most traders the proposed increase will be the price of a punnet of fruit and veg per day and Ridley Road Market will still be the cheapest 6 day-a-week market in London to trade in.
The new fees and charges will make Ridley the cheapest six day a week market in London with a pitch for as little as £8 a day in such a historic and well-loved market.
The Labour Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, alongside London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, are investing £1.5 million into Ridley Road Market to help traders compete in the changing high street.
There will be investment in weather proof stalls, handheld payment card machines for traders, free wi-fi accessible to all visitors and businesses. It will make the street itself more accessible for shoppers, pedestrianising areas, introducing new road crossings whilst making it easier for traders to set up. All designed to increase footfall and business for traders.
The Council is in the process of offering storage to more traders than ever before, to support local businesses, help keep their costs down and not have to pay excessive storage fees and incur additional transport costs.
The Council is also trialling Sunday markets over the Christmas period and first quarter of 2020 – offering traders another opportunity to trade and grow their business in the business area of the market.
Hackney Labour has and is demonstrating through its actions its commitment to supporting Dalston’s communities. From celebrating the heritage of place to playing its part in supporting the livelihoods of traders and businesses in one of London’s great town centres.”
19 December 2019 latest development:
The Hackney Gazette has reported on how some long standing traders are feeling about new regulations and enforcement:
Council economy chief Cllr Guy Nicholson reiterated the council would protect the market “well into the future”.
He said: “We treat all traders equally and fairly, and almost all of Hackney’s traders work to the rules and create great street markets. It’s not fair on the majority when a small minority play by different rules. As a result of tackling subletting, committed traders have been able to move their pitches to busier parts of the market, which is helping to grow their businesses and provide quality goods.
“There have been a number of cases where subletters have been ripped off for pitches and storage that aren’t being used by other traders. That’s why we’ve stepped in to support some of them.”
The report added:
After the Gazette reported two weeks ago that traders’ feared for their future due to an increase in fees and tough new regulations, another group contacted us to say they were completely on board with what the council was doing.
“We feel it has been misrepresented,” they said. “All the council is doing is trying to get rid of people doing dodgy dealing.”
Hackney Council has provided further background here:
“The proposed updated terms and conditions for Hackney market stalls have been developed with traders and cover: changes to food hygiene and health and safety legislation; the use of single use plastics, and the logistics of operating a market stall. There is no term or condition in the licence that enables the council to revoke a street trading licence to enable private development.
The ‘51% rule’, which asks traders to be at their pitches for 51% of the day, is not new and was in place in previous terms and conditions. It is there to make sure that pitches are occupied when people are shopping, and. It is lower than other comparable boroughs, – some of which require traders to be at pitches for 60%, or all, of the day. – but is there to make sure pitches are occupied when people are shopping.
We value the views of all of our traders and encourage them all to take part in the consultations.”
Ridley Road Shopping Village
There has also been some confusion about Ridley Road street market, operated by the Council and the ‘Ridley Road Shopping Village’, a neighbouring indoor market operated privately. The Council says:
“This building, a neighbouring indoor market, is operated by a private company and we do not own or control it. The owners have submitted a planning application to convert and extend this building into new homes, retail and employment space, but it has not yet been considered by the Council’s Planning Committee.
“Last year, the police issued a Community Protection Notice to the management company of the Shopping Village instructing them to install things like CCTV to support crime prevention and ensure fire exits were not blocked.
“However, they chose to close the market early ahead of the owners’ planned refurbishment, and issued eviction notices to tenants. Mayor Philip Glanville and Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy, met with the owners of the building to set out the Council’s concerns.
“This intervention meant the traders and tenants of the studios above the market were given an extended deadline to acquire legal advice and sign a six-month lease, and the owners agreed not to close the Shopping Village.
“We have also stepped in to support affected traders, offering them a fast-tracked stall on the outdoor market it operates or other retail premises if more appropriate.
“The Council’s independent Planning team will continue to scrutinise the owners’ planning application as part of the planning process, to ensure it complies with the borough’s planning rules. The application will be considered by the Council’s Planning Committee next year.”