Hackney market traders could be required to display food hygiene ratings, council reveals

Ridley Road market in Dalston.

Ridley Road market in Dalston. - Credit: Archant

A major rethink on the running of Hackney’s markets has been announced, including free stalls for the unemployed and food hygiene ratings.

Sadiq Khan meets locals in Ridley Road Market

Sadiq Khan meets locals in Ridley Road Market - Credit: Archant

Following a consultation with traders last summer, the town hall has revealed an “ambitious” new strategy to make the market service break even by 2020. It currently requires a subsidy of £80,000 – but compared to the eye-watering £1.1million it needed in 2009, things are on the up.

So the six street markets; Chatsworth Road, Ridley Road, Well Street, Kingsland Waste, Broadway and Hoxton Street, are getting a makeover.

A report, set to go before cabinet on Monday, sets out the plan to generate income by attracting more traders and improving the offering, though it does say fees will rise if they have to.

To start with, organisers have all been told to up their social media game – particularly Ridley Road, which didn’t have a Twitter account.

Well Street market reopened in December. London Mayor Siddiq Khan, designer Wayne Hemmingway, market

Well Street market reopened in December. London Mayor Siddiq Khan, designer Wayne Hemmingway, market manager Kay Richardson, Hackney speaker Cllr Rosemary sales and Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville joined the community to celebrate. - Credit: Archant

There’s also a pledge to open a “teenage market” and work with the jobcentre to offer free stalls for out-of-work people, similar to the one used in Chatsworth Road where the unemployed are given a stall for four weeks.

A clampdown on anti-social behaviour at Ridley Road is also on the agenda. The report reads: “The council recognise Ridley Road needs to be a more pleasant place to shop. The [Ridley Road Traders Association] has raised issues like fly-tipping, drug-abuse, alcohol-abuse and counterfeit goods as issues they would like to see addressed in a bid to make the market a safer place to shop in.”

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The town hall is also looking at creating pop-up markets in parks and other places with high footfall. These include south Shoreditch, Goldsmiths Row, Stamford Hill, Hackney Wick and Hackney Central.

Opening times will also be reviewed, and bosses could decide to join the London-wide traders card scheme, allowing stallholders to set up around the capital whenever they want.

Broadway Market.

Broadway Market. - Credit: Archant

But anyone selling food or drink could have to display food hygiene certificates to “publically reassure” buyers. Traders at the top of the class will get “buy with confidence” cards as a sign of excellence.

As reported in the Gazette back in December, neighbouring traders could also be stopped from selling the same stuff.

Councillors will vote on the plans on Monday night.