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Market 'will devastate trade'

PUBLISHED: 15:56 18 November 2009 | UPDATED: 10:11 12 August 2010

ANGRY: John Plume says the Christmas market will ruin his Thursday trade.

ANGRY: John Plume says the Christmas market will ruin his Thursday trade.

MARKET traders say their livelihoods are being threatened by a Christmas market which will be in direct competition with them. The market, held on Thursdays in Station Road car park in Bromley North, was granted a royal charter by King John more than 80

MARKET traders say their livelihoods are being threatened by a Christmas market which will be in direct competition with them.

The market, held on Thursdays in Station Road car park in Bromley North, was granted a royal charter by King John more than 800 years ago, with the assurance that no other market would take place in the vicinity on the same day.

Now traders are annoyed that they have not been asked to work the High Street Christmas market.They claim the council does not want them there because their retail goods, such as socks and lingerie, are not fancy enough for the market.

John Plume, 56, of Dominic Drive, New Eltham, has been a trader for 22 years, selling football merchandise, and worked on Bromley market for 10 years.

He said: "It will devastate our trade on a Thursday. Shoppers won't come to us if there is a market in the High Street. We will be losing lots of money. You can only guess how much. We won't get any floating customers." The council proposed that the chartered market move to the High Street but after two years of consultation it remains in Station Road, which traders say is a poor location.

Mr Plume added: "The council don't think our goods are attractive enough. They want nice little things.

"We would like the council to offer us the chance to trade in the High Street. It's unfair that everybody else can go there but for us there always seems to be so many rules and regulations."

The traders have written to the council to make their views known. A council spokesman said: "The High Street markets have been themed to be arts and crafts markets or a farmer based market. The Saturday market traders were invited to extend their trading times in the run up to Christmas. The Charter Market complements the High Street Christmas market. We have followed the accepted methods of previous years which have seem to have worked for everyone.

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