Traders fear losing their jobs if Dalston market close

Jackie Morris and Tony Sacco

Jackie Morris and Tony Sacco - Credit: Archant

Traders at a historical Dalston market fear for their livelihoods after being told their trading licences will no longer be renewed.

Jackie Morris, 58, a trader at Kingsland Waste, Hackney’s general goods market, said the notice would leave the market on the verge of collapse.

She said: “The council has been coming down on us traders hard with a lot of rules and regulations making it virtually impossible for us to trade.

“But the blow came in October when we got the letter saying our temporary licence would not be renewed after it expired - due to the ‘excessive waste’ generated by the market.”

A temporary licence means licence holders pay for a stall only on days they trade.

Ms Morris’ business partner Tony Sacco has held their licence for more than 40 years and does not have a plan for after it expires in March.

Ms Morris said: “It’s such a historical market. It stems back from when people could just put out their stuff on the street for people to come and buy - that’s why it is called The Waste. It is one of the oldest markets in the borough and now we are a mess.

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“We solely rely on our trading at Kingsland Road on a Saturday; we have nowhere else to go.”

Ms Morris said though they had been offered pitches at Ridley Road and Hoxton Market the goods they sold did not reflect the clientele there.

She said: “We would never get a licence for those markets – they sell fruit and veg.

“Our business is thriving, and very cosmopolitan. A lot of people export our goods to their countries, like Ghana and Nigeria. We bring in two horse trailers every Saturday full up and every Saturday we bring them back nearly empty.

“I have customers asking what they will do, because what we sell is not what you will get at other markets.”

She added traders were equally confused by a letter they received telling them the price of their temporary licence was to be increased - they now pay £64 a week for two pitches - but permanent licence holders would see a decrease in fares.

The letter went on to state that trial pitches were being offered free of charge to new traders.

Ms Morris said: “Why are they increasing the price of our licences, then saying they won’t renew it and yet offering other traders pitches for free?”

“We really don’t have a plan B. We are our wits’ end.”

A council spokesman said: “The Council has no plans to close the Kingsland Market, we are currently working on a strategy that will outline our approach to how all Hackney markets will be managed in the future. It is also only the temporary licenses that will not be renewed, there will be no change to any of the permanent licenses.”