TRADERS have welcomed the news that a deal has been reached over the future of rents at Mexborough’s indoor market.
After months of haggling between stallholders and Doncaster Council bosses the local authority has decided not to impose five-fold rent increases, but instead implement a lower rate.
Rates for a single stall were originally due to rise from £15.72 per week to £78.60 a week by 2013 because Doncaster Council could no longer subsidise the market hall at the current rate. Last month the South Yorkshire Times revealed that a deal had been struck, but the council would not disclose exact financial arrangements.
But the authority has now announced that the new rate will be a one-off increase, bringing a typical rent for a secure unit inside the market hall to £36.10 per week. It will be introduced immediately, but in future years rents may be raised in line with the Retail Price Index. Mexborough market trader Phil Toone said: “The new rents have effectively doubled but we are pleased because they are less than the ridiculous rates they were originally proposing. “We have said from the start we knew they were going to go up but they needed to be reasonable.”
Fellow stallholder Wendy Bailey added: “I am happy that it has finally come to a conclusion, but it shouldn’t have taken this long. They should have offered us a fairer deal in the first place.”
Mexborough MP and Labour Leader Ed Miliband has supported traders throughout.
He said: “I’m pleased that a deal has been agreed.
“I visited the market several times to support the traders’ fight against unfair and unrealistic rent demands.
“Many of the stallholders I met during those visits were struggling to make ends meet and others were even considering leaving the market.
“I hope this deal will change that situation and I hope the market will continue to play an important role within Mexborough for many years to come.”
Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, said: “The existing level of rents was far lower than at similar markets elsewhere, but at the same time we were fully aware of the need to keep the rates at an affordable level which would enable traders to maintain their businesses in these difficult economic times. “This new rate means traders will pay around £6 per day if they choose to trade from Monday to Saturday. “Prior to this agreement Mexborough market was due to cost Doncaster Council approximately £140,000 per year, and even after these rent increases the market will require an annual subsidy of around £100,000 each year.”