ALMOST a THIRD of Mex-borough’s indoor market traders have already decided to quit their stalls rather than pay the massive rent hike that Doncaster Council has planned for them in October.
As the market Refuseniks vowed to step-up their fight against FIVE HUNDRED per cent rent increases, seven of the 25 stallholders said this week that they will shun the new rates and leave, when they come into place in October.
Traders have now formed a committee and enlisted the help of the National Market Traders Federation.
Committee vice-chair Ernie Strawbridge said they hoped to open up talks with council bosses in a bid to get more reasonable rent increases.
He said: “We have tried to talk to the market management about it but they don’t want to know, so we have formed a committee to try and get them round the negotiating table.
“We had a meeting with the Federation bosses and they said they will support us in any way they can.”
He added: “We already have seven traders, some of them have got two or three units, who have said they won’t sign up to the new rents.
“But we hope in time to come back to the council with some rents that we think is fair.
“If they give us fair rents, then I think a lot of the traders will stay.
“We understand there needs to be rent increases, but the numbers they have given us are ridiculous.”
Traders currently pay as little as £15.72 a week for a single unit, but this is due to gradually increase over the next three years.
It is set to rise to £36.69 per week in year one, £57.64 in year two, and finally £78.60 in year three.
For some, the result will be a jump from just over £800 per year, to around £4,100.
The deal constitutes a staggering increase of around 500 per cent for many of the indoor market traders.
Labour leader Ed Miliband backed the traders last week, calling for a re-think of the proposed increases.
Doncaster Council have said they will undertake a review of the rents... in April 2012.
But traders have accused horse-loving elected Mayor Peter Davies of hedging his bets – warning a walk-out might have consigned the market to oblivion by then.