The Green Party in Derby has expressed serious concern at a claim by Derby City Council leader, Philip Hickson to BBC Radio Derby, that closure of the Eagle Market was ‘inevitable’.
‘This statement by the Tory leader prejudices any meaningful negotiations on the future of the city’s two markets,’ said David Clasby who is standing for the Greens in Darley ward. ‘We have been promised a review of market strategy for 5 years, the delay in producing a report shows a lack of commitment to our markets by this and previous administrations.’
Jane Temple, who will be standing against Mr Hickson in Allestree ward claimed that the Council showed much more interest in encouraging the supermarkets. ‘The City Council has recently given permission for three new supermarkets, and two more are under consideration. All of these will damage the Eagle and Guildhall markets. A policy on markets and shops should have been brought forward for discussion before more supermarkets were allowed.’
The Greens want to see supermarkets controlled and more encouragement given to small traders.
‘If we support independent local businesses then the money we spend stays here in the city.’ David Clasby said. ‘The Council Leader seems to want to close the large market and squeeze all the stalls into the much smaller Guildhall market. This will mean local people who run their own business losing their livelihood. The only reason is so that they can hand the lease on the Eagle market back to Westfield who can bring in another big multi national chain. Who exactly benefits from that decision? Who is making money from that? The Eagle centre market has lacked investment for years, coupled with petty bureaucracy, in the hope of driving the traders out so that this position can be reached. A big multi national company does not lead to an overall increase in jobs, quite the opposite in fact, as lots of small local retailers close down. I want to see more commitment to local businesses, in particular I support the Eagle and Guildhall markets. Let’s have more local character and fewer bland national chains.”