Councillor defends market clampdown

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THE leader of Gosport Borough Council has defended its recent clampdown on market trader fees.

It comes after environmental health officers at the council, which manages the market, recently measured the width of stalls to ensure traders are charged for what they are using.

The Tory leader of the council Councillor Mark Hook said: ‘What the council are doing is asking people to pay a fair rent for the size of pitch they’ve got.’

And Cllr Hook said the fees, which are charged per foot, have not changed for two years.

He said: ‘What I’ve been saying to people is that you do realise that Gosport Borough Council taxpayers have been subsidising the pitches because if they’re paying for 10ft and taking 30ft, then it’s the council tax payers that are losing money.’

As previously reported in The News, market traders warned that they may leave the High Street after the clampdown, which saw one trader pay an increase of more than £30 a day.

Signed on traders pay £1.50 per foot on Tuesday and £2.75 on Saturday. Casual traders pay £2.50 on Tuesday and £3.25 on Saturday.