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Stall holders call for more investment after Romford Market House plans are shelved

PUBLISHED: 18:42 05 July 2017

Market stall holder Jamie Bedworth.

Market stall holder Jamie Bedworth.

Archant

A number of stallholders are hoping more money will be invested in Romford Market after the council scrapped plans to build a £250,000 Market House restaurant.

Market stall holder Graeme Gibbons is Market stall holder Graeme Gibbons is "very pleased" that the Maket House plans have been scrapped.

The town centre project, which was going to be jointly funded by Havering Council and the Greater London Authority (GLA), was given the green light earlier last year - despite 900 objections from business owners, market traders and various societies.

Whilst many market traders have welcomed the news, a number of them want to see the money reinvested in a way that will draw shoppers to the area.

Michelle Waugh, vice-chairman of the market, said a few traders had already left their pitches as they thought they were going to be displaced. She wants to know what the council plans to do now.

“We are waiting to see where the money has gone and how much they spent. Who’s paid all the fees for architects and planning fees? It all comes out of the budget.

Michelle Waugh.Michelle Waugh.

“We want to see them regenerate the market place in some way to keep people coming.”

Jamie Bedworth, who has worked on a clothes stall at the market for the past 30 years, echoed Michelle’s sentiment.

“There’s loads of questions that need asking, they haven’t even told us it isn’t going ahead or to say I won’t be moving now,” said Jamie. “The money should be spent on the market now - not against us.”

Graeme Gibbons, who runs Penny’s, questioned the wisdom of the plans in the first place.

“The people that come up with these ideas don’t understand Romford or the market.

“I have put all my energy into this stall for 25 years. I couldn’t go anywhere else, it would have finished me, I felt really unwell and I’ve had loads of sleepless nights.”

Steve Dace has owned a magnetic health jewellery store in the market for 16 years and believes more needs to be done to make Romford a more attractive proposition to visitors.

“We need to get people in here but there’s nothing to attract them. If you look around Romford we are surrounded by closing shops and empty buildings.”

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