Plans to eradicate £180k market bill: Hackney Council says it can no longer subsidise trading

Ridley Road market in Dalston.

Ridley Road market in Dalston. - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council wants to up traders’ fees and charges in a bid to slash the £180,000 it subsidises markets with each year.

Plans to introduce the revised fees - which would take effect from April - have been sent out in a consultation document to all market traders and shop front licence holders.

The idea is that markets and shop fronts would be self-funding by 2017.

The proposed increases of between £3 to £10 a day per trader would impact permanent and temporary traders in Ridley Road Market, Hoxton Street Market and at miscellaneous sites, such as Calvert Avenue, Clifton Street, Crown Place, Haggerston Station and Leonard Circus.

Fees and charges at Broadway and Chatsworth Road Markets remain unchanged as they are already self-funding.

The borough’s markets are currently subsidised out of general council funding by more than £180,000 per year, and a significant part of this is the cost of clearing up waste.

More than £550,000 is spent on cleaning, removing and disposing of market waste every year in Hackney, and about £500,000 of this is attributed to Ridley Road Market alone.

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Cllr Feryal Demirci, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and sustainability, said: “The council has already managed around £100 million in funding cuts from government and is now facing a further £60 million in cuts, and we cannot afford to continue subsidising our market traders, including shop front trading.

“We believe it is only fair to residents that operational costs of Hackney’s markets be covered by fees and charges so taxpayers’ money can be directed elsewhere.”

She added: “We value our markets – the heritage, variety and the service they provide to our local communities and we support them as much as possible.

“However, we are currently charging some of the markets far less in fees and charges than the cost of maintaining, managing and cleaning them.

“Any increase for traders will reflect what it currently costs the council to provide the markets service.”

New administrative and application costs are also recommended.

Kingsland Waste and Well Street Market charges remain unchanged because of plans to rejuvenate them as part of the 2015-20 markets strategy.

The consultation closes on Monday February 15 2016 and the council says that a formal decision will then be made.