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Romford Market traders hit back in row with councillor

PUBLISHED: 13:09 30 December 2015 | UPDATED: 17:04 30 December 2015

Romford Market, Market Tony Geary has hit back at councillors for criticising the market

Romford Market, Market Tony Geary has hit back at councillors for criticising the market

Archant

The disgruntled chairman of Romford Market has hit back over allegations of bullying and invited the councillor who made them to visit the stalls.

Cllr Steven Kelly, former Havering leader, launched a stinging attack on the market and its workers at an overview and scrutiny meeting earlier this month, where £2million transformation plans were torn to pieces.

He said Romford Market had a lack of “ethnic” traders needed in all successful London markets, putting it down to a bullying culture.

He also called the market and its traders “unpleasant” and asked why customers would shop there over pound shops or Primark.

But Tony Geary has hit back, saying the traders were getting behind the transformation project and had high hopes for their business in 2016.

“I am very upset that Cllr Steven Kelly has suggested new traders were bullied by existing traders.

“He also suggests that we have only two ‘ethnic’ traders. I can confirm that there are currently a lot more than two traders that are from an ‘ethnic’ background.

“He also suggests that the traders are unpleasant! We would like to welcome him to Romford Market to show him what we are about. We sell goods that are worth a lot more than a pound! Why is he running the market place down? What is he trying to achieve?”

Tony said should Cllr Kelly continue to make “incorrect accusations” he should resign.

He added: “Perhaps if he was to have attended the market place last Sunday he would have been very pleasantly surprised with the great amount of people who attended to view the Coca Cola truck. This is what the market should be like all the time!

“We as traders continue to earn our living here as many of us have done for some considerable time. We are welcoming new ideas that would make the market a better place to trade and shop and would like to believe the market will grow back to a better place in 2016.”

The plans, which include new market days, a £1.3million children’s play area and a rebranding, are set to return to cabinet for further discussions after councillors slammed the initial report for a lack of detail.

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