Blackburn market traders hit roof over shock hike in charges

Unhappy traders thinking of withholding their direct debits, from left, Jon Turner of Mayers Fishmongers, Katie McKay of Nuts Unlimited, Malcolm Marsden of Whitaker’s Butchers, Stewart Cunliffe of Sanderson’s and Daniel Moffett of Butler’s Cafe

Unhappy traders thinking of withholding their direct debits, from left, Jon Turner of Mayers Fishmongers, Katie McKay of Nuts Unlimited, Malcolm Marsden of Whitaker’s Butchers, Stewart Cunliffe of Sanderson’s and Daniel Moffett of Butler’s Cafe

First published in Blackburn Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

ANGRY Blackburn market traders are fighting a “ridiculous” backdated hike in council service charges which could land stallholders with bills for hundreds of pounds in the New Year.

They fear that the rise could force some traders out of business.

Market manager Keith Holden informed traders that the annual cost for food and non- food stalls would rise by £2.90 per square foot from £17 to £19.90.

Cafes and catering stalls would see an increase of £2.40 per square foot from £19.50 to £21.90.

Most stalls have been paying the lower estimated cost monthly on top of rents ranging from £500 a month to more than £2,000.

The extra charge will be backdated for last year and collected next month.

This means stalls of the average 250 square foot size paying £725 and cafe/catering stalls £600 as the higher service charge kicks in.

Larger traders will have to pay considerably more.

Traders have written to the borough threatening to withhold direct debit rents unless the rise is cut and the backdating waived.

They have also complained of “inadequate” service, maintenance and cleanliness”.

Their letter said that the rises of 17 per cent for food and non-food stalls and 12.3 per cent for cafe/catering stalls could not be “justified with any degree of sanity” when inflation in October was 2.7 per cent and asks how the original estimate was so far out. It goes on: “This could be the final straw for many traders. The general consensus is that this is a totally unreasonable increase and backdate.

“The feeling is that everyone should cancel their direct debits.”

Daniel Moffett, of Butlers Family Restaurant which has been disrupted by tiles falling from the Mall frontage and his electric door on the Church Street failing, said: “I think it’s ridiculous.”

Malcolm Marsden of Whitaker’s Butchers said: “It’s totally wrong. We are not receiving a proper service.”

But Coun Dave Harling said that the new charges are far from set in stone.

He explained: “The figures have yet to be finalised and we are continuing to talk to traders about the issues they have raised.

“We could only make a judgement on the actual service charge after a year of trading.

“I know that all businesses are finding it difficult so I am looking at everything again before taking a final decision.”

Comments (29)

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5:27pm Fri 21 Dec 12

burner says...

GREEDY !!
GREEDY !! burner
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Fri 21 Dec 12

psch says...

The report seems to ignore a salient question, who on the council is responsible for this dragging on for 12 months and if they are still employed why?
The report seems to ignore a salient question, who on the council is responsible for this dragging on for 12 months and if they are still employed why? psch
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Fri 21 Dec 12

juanbbien says...

The way things are going in Blackburn there are going to be no rents to collect because there will be no businesses to collect from.In the case of Butlers cafe it's been an established name from the sixties serving good quality English food I was recently over on a visit from Spain and called in for my dinner there and was looked after and treated well.but there is only so many plates of steak puddings and chips you can serve in a day,before it's money supply is exhausted,hence there is a limit to what makes a business viable. Good luck to you
The way things are going in Blackburn there are going to be no rents to collect because there will be no businesses to collect from.In the case of Butlers cafe it's been an established name from the sixties serving good quality English food I was recently over on a visit from Spain and called in for my dinner there and was looked after and treated well.but there is only so many plates of steak puddings and chips you can serve in a day,before it's money supply is exhausted,hence there is a limit to what makes a business viable. Good luck to you juanbbien
  • Score: 0

6:08pm Fri 21 Dec 12

EB000 says...

Don't trust the council you'll regret it. Frank the butcher in the old market was right to set up his business elsewhere. Others will be forced to do likewise. I'll shop in Bolton as the prices there are much less than Blackburn. even taking into account the bus fare.
Don't trust the council you'll regret it. Frank the butcher in the old market was right to set up his business elsewhere. Others will be forced to do likewise. I'll shop in Bolton as the prices there are much less than Blackburn. even taking into account the bus fare. EB000
  • Score: 0

6:29pm Fri 21 Dec 12

MerlinTheVoiceofReason2 says...

EB000 wrote:
Don't trust the council you'll regret it. Frank the butcher in the old market was right to set up his business elsewhere. Others will be forced to do likewise. I'll shop in Bolton as the prices there are much less than Blackburn. even taking into account the bus fare.
Yes but the meat on Bolton Market looks like roadkill that's been left to hang for 16 weeks and then dipped in some unsavoury cleansing liquid! The fish is equally off-putting and pongs. If you don't like Blackburn market, try Chorley.
[quote][p][bold]EB000[/bold] wrote: Don't trust the council you'll regret it. Frank the butcher in the old market was right to set up his business elsewhere. Others will be forced to do likewise. I'll shop in Bolton as the prices there are much less than Blackburn. even taking into account the bus fare.[/p][/quote]Yes but the meat on Bolton Market looks like roadkill that's been left to hang for 16 weeks and then dipped in some unsavoury cleansing liquid! The fish is equally off-putting and pongs. If you don't like Blackburn market, try Chorley. MerlinTheVoiceofReason2
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Fri 21 Dec 12

real betis hotpot says...

You might say the rents are going through the ceiling but Blackburn market hasn't got one, what with all the pipes and tin foil on display. Not like Bury market where I will be doing my shopping in the future, that's a real market and the greatest thing in the entire universe and it has a proper ceiling and the floor is nice.
You might say the rents are going through the ceiling but Blackburn market hasn't got one, what with all the pipes and tin foil on display. Not like Bury market where I will be doing my shopping in the future, that's a real market and the greatest thing in the entire universe and it has a proper ceiling and the floor is nice. real betis hotpot
  • Score: 0

7:34pm Fri 21 Dec 12

eco/pendle says...

Shame on the council they ruined a good market people prefare market stalls and old fashioned values lots of banter humour and traditions that go to make a market the old market stalls might have been a bit cowd but had regular customers who loved a bit of banter the service was second to none friendly people making an honest crust brought the crowds back over the years now gone upmarket over heads way to high not worth opening up no profit in it customers cant afford to buy so the cookie crumbles greedy council set there sights on a luxury building expecting people to pay for luxury accomodation who ever made the decision on the council want sacking.lost a few family businesses through this.i now go to Bury market or Darwen feel very sorry for those tied to a contract get out when you can
Shame on the council they ruined a good market people prefare market stalls and old fashioned values lots of banter humour and traditions that go to make a market the old market stalls might have been a bit cowd but had regular customers who loved a bit of banter the service was second to none friendly people making an honest crust brought the crowds back over the years now gone upmarket over heads way to high not worth opening up no profit in it customers cant afford to buy so the cookie crumbles greedy council set there sights on a luxury building expecting people to pay for luxury accomodation who ever made the decision on the council want sacking.lost a few family businesses through this.i now go to Bury market or Darwen feel very sorry for those tied to a contract get out when you can eco/pendle
  • Score: 0

7:45pm Fri 21 Dec 12

M.DANNY says...

I would have thought Mall are owners of the new shopping centre and the market downstairs.This hike in rent increase is terrible at a time of a reccession.This government are making poorer poorer by lowering tax credits,increasing council tax and lowering housing benefits. The working class have to find work 24 hours or over to qualify for tax credits .The poorer got poorer under this goverment.People cant find jobs let alone a jobs 24 hours or over.People working 16 and 18 hours do not qualify for tax credits.People here in the markets try to earn a living setting up a stall need our support too.Small business are in a terrible times, many have closed down because of high overheads and lack of cashflows.This Labour controlled council should help these stall holders through during this terrible economic crisis where business are closing down and people up and down country loosing their jobs.
I would have thought Mall are owners of the new shopping centre and the market downstairs.This hike in rent increase is terrible at a time of a reccession.This government are making poorer poorer by lowering tax credits,increasing council tax and lowering housing benefits. The working class have to find work 24 hours or over to qualify for tax credits .The poorer got poorer under this goverment.People cant find jobs let alone a jobs 24 hours or over.People working 16 and 18 hours do not qualify for tax credits.People here in the markets try to earn a living setting up a stall need our support too.Small business are in a terrible times, many have closed down because of high overheads and lack of cashflows.This Labour controlled council should help these stall holders through during this terrible economic crisis where business are closing down and people up and down country loosing their jobs. M.DANNY
  • Score: 0

8:07pm Fri 21 Dec 12

icannotrace says...

MerlinTheVoiceofReas
on2
wrote:
EB000 wrote:
Don't trust the council you'll regret it. Frank the butcher in the old market was right to set up his business elsewhere. Others will be forced to do likewise. I'll shop in Bolton as the prices there are much less than Blackburn. even taking into account the bus fare.
Yes but the meat on Bolton Market looks like roadkill that's been left to hang for 16 weeks and then dipped in some unsavoury cleansing liquid! The fish is equally off-putting and pongs. If you don't like Blackburn market, try Chorley.
Get over to Bury Market. Best in the NW
[quote][p][bold]MerlinTheVoiceofReas on2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]EB000[/bold] wrote: Don't trust the council you'll regret it. Frank the butcher in the old market was right to set up his business elsewhere. Others will be forced to do likewise. I'll shop in Bolton as the prices there are much less than Blackburn. even taking into account the bus fare.[/p][/quote]Yes but the meat on Bolton Market looks like roadkill that's been left to hang for 16 weeks and then dipped in some unsavoury cleansing liquid! The fish is equally off-putting and pongs. If you don't like Blackburn market, try Chorley.[/p][/quote]Get over to Bury Market. Best in the NW icannotrace
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Fri 21 Dec 12

icannotrace says...

There's two sides to every story. I'd like to hear the Council's side.
There's two sides to every story. I'd like to hear the Council's side. icannotrace
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Fri 21 Dec 12

eco/pendle says...

icannotrace wrote:
There's two sides to every story. I'd like to hear the Council's side.
Nobody on the council has ever come forth so i wont hold my breath ....Thats another fine mess they have got us into
[quote][p][bold]icannotrace[/bold] wrote: There's two sides to every story. I'd like to hear the Council's side.[/p][/quote]Nobody on the council has ever come forth so i wont hold my breath ....Thats another fine mess they have got us into eco/pendle
  • Score: 0

8:40pm Fri 21 Dec 12

mr puka says...

Pay the bill help keep taxes down.
Pay the bill help keep taxes down. mr puka
  • Score: 0

9:03pm Fri 21 Dec 12

LiverpoolFCLass says...

real betis hotpot wrote:
You might say the rents are going through the ceiling but Blackburn market hasn't got one, what with all the pipes and tin foil on display. Not like Bury market where I will be doing my shopping in the future, that's a real market and the greatest thing in the entire universe and it has a proper ceiling and the floor is nice.
If the best argument one can offer is "... it has a proper ceiling and the floor is nice" then I suggest you discuss Cathedrals rather than places to shop. I'm not entirely sure where you've been looking when on Blackburn market but I can assure you I haven't seen pipes and tinfoil.
Whilst the range of food stalls is not as diverse as promised, particularly in regards to fresh fish/seafood stalls but that is a different argument entirely, there is some excellent produce on offer for those who appreciate food rather than a bargain.
Blackburn market should be a source of pride in the town centre, and I don't say that lightly. I have never shopped on the old market apart from when I was taken thereby my mother when I was younger. I'm now 31, I enjoy buying nice foods and find the market a more than decent place to shop. To attempt to increase rents and ultimately threaten the viability of the new market is just astounding.
I hope somebody comes to their senses and realises the market is Blackburn's best asset.
[quote][p][bold]real betis hotpot[/bold] wrote: You might say the rents are going through the ceiling but Blackburn market hasn't got one, what with all the pipes and tin foil on display. Not like Bury market where I will be doing my shopping in the future, that's a real market and the greatest thing in the entire universe and it has a proper ceiling and the floor is nice.[/p][/quote]If the best argument one can offer is "... it has a proper ceiling and the floor is nice" then I suggest you discuss Cathedrals rather than places to shop. I'm not entirely sure where you've been looking when on Blackburn market but I can assure you I haven't seen pipes and tinfoil. Whilst the range of food stalls is not as diverse as promised, particularly in regards to fresh fish/seafood stalls but that is a different argument entirely, there is some excellent produce on offer for those who appreciate food rather than a bargain. Blackburn market should be a source of pride in the town centre, and I don't say that lightly. I have never shopped on the old market apart from when I was taken thereby my mother when I was younger. I'm now 31, I enjoy buying nice foods and find the market a more than decent place to shop. To attempt to increase rents and ultimately threaten the viability of the new market is just astounding. I hope somebody comes to their senses and realises the market is Blackburn's best asset. LiverpoolFCLass
  • Score: 0

9:34pm Fri 21 Dec 12

woodyads says...

Oh boo hoo. So their rent is going up? So is everybody else's - it's because of the recession. It's not a charity...
Oh boo hoo. So their rent is going up? So is everybody else's - it's because of the recession. It's not a charity... woodyads
  • Score: 0

11:27pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Duni Akwe Tu? says...

LiverpoolFCLass says...

I'm not entirely sure where you've been looking when on Blackburn market but I can assure you I haven't seen pipes and tinfoil.

Those rose tinted Brenden Rogers glasses are working a treat, it looks like the set from a poor 60's Sci-Fi film you goggle-eyed wombit.

LiverpoolFCLass says...

I hope somebody comes to their senses and realises the market is Blackburn's best asset.

You can't lie to your soul.
LiverpoolFCLass says... I'm not entirely sure where you've been looking when on Blackburn market but I can assure you I haven't seen pipes and tinfoil. Those rose tinted Brenden Rogers glasses are working a treat, it looks like the set from a poor 60's Sci-Fi film you goggle-eyed wombit. LiverpoolFCLass says... I hope somebody comes to their senses and realises the market is Blackburn's best asset. You can't lie to your soul. Duni Akwe Tu?
  • Score: 0

11:49pm Fri 21 Dec 12

sean_brfc says...

On the ceiling matter, I quite like the pipes. But the floor is grubby. On the whole I wish people would stop being so negative. It's a pleasant market with a decent atmosphere. The food hall seating area for one is always full.

On the matter at hand, I wonder how far back the stall owners knew about the price rises and how clearly it was set out to them that they would eventually have to pay it.
On the ceiling matter, I quite like the pipes. But the floor is grubby. On the whole I wish people would stop being so negative. It's a pleasant market with a decent atmosphere. The food hall seating area for one is always full. On the matter at hand, I wonder how far back the stall owners knew about the price rises and how clearly it was set out to them that they would eventually have to pay it. sean_brfc
  • Score: 0

1:24am Sat 22 Dec 12

2 for 5p says...

QUOTE:
1. They fear that the rise could force some traders out of business.

2. Cafes and catering stalls would see an increase of £2.40 per square foot from £19.50 to £21.90.

Sorry peps but if £2.40 a square foot puts you out of bussines then its a bussines not worth having.
QUOTE: 1. They fear that the rise could force some traders out of business. 2. Cafes and catering stalls would see an increase of £2.40 per square foot from £19.50 to £21.90. Sorry peps but if £2.40 a square foot puts you out of bussines then its a bussines not worth having. 2 for 5p
  • Score: 0

3:40am Sat 22 Dec 12

Carl_24 says...

I've said time and time again that that useless piece of **** market is a piece of ****.
Were does the money go to???
Obviously it isn't spent on the market because the ceiling is a mess, the electric revolving entrance doors are a waste of time (PEOPLE SHOULDN'T NEED TO PUSH THEM TO MAKE THEM TURN WHEN THEY ARE ELECTRIC), the staff (not the market traders) are a waste of time and the security are absolute feckin' **** who abuse their authority and that is a fact.
I've said time and time again that that useless piece of **** market is a piece of ****. Were does the money go to??? Obviously it isn't spent on the market because the ceiling is a mess, the electric revolving entrance doors are a waste of time (PEOPLE SHOULDN'T NEED TO PUSH THEM TO MAKE THEM TURN WHEN THEY ARE ELECTRIC), the staff (not the market traders) are a waste of time and the security are absolute feckin' **** who abuse their authority and that is a fact. Carl_24
  • Score: 0

7:56am Sat 22 Dec 12

Ronnietate says...

I don't see how it is even legal to back date an increase for the previous year. The costs for the previous year must have already been agreed upon, becasue it is now in the past.
I don't see how it is even legal to back date an increase for the previous year. The costs for the previous year must have already been agreed upon, becasue it is now in the past. Ronnietate
  • Score: 0

9:22am Sat 22 Dec 12

jack daniels says...

So if these figures are not set in stone, then why was the market manager Keith Holden allowed to use the figures that have been posted in this story?
So if these figures are not set in stone, then why was the market manager Keith Holden allowed to use the figures that have been posted in this story? jack daniels
  • Score: 0

9:01pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Black Car Guy. says...

The council have to hike their rent to pay the single mums and druggies to stay at home.
The council have to hike their rent to pay the single mums and druggies to stay at home. Black Car Guy.
  • Score: 0

1:14am Sun 23 Dec 12

mgarswood says...

there's already enough empty stalls there as it is! only about 60% of the actual market is being used..
there's already enough empty stalls there as it is! only about 60% of the actual market is being used.. mgarswood
  • Score: 0

7:02am Sun 23 Dec 12

dilligaf60@hotmail.co.uk says...

burner wrote:
GREEDY !!
why dont the council tell who actually OWN the market because its not blackburn nor is it the mall so who does ow the market?
[quote][p][bold]burner[/bold] wrote: GREEDY !![/p][/quote]why dont the council tell who actually OWN the market because its not blackburn nor is it the mall so who does ow the market? dilligaf60@hotmail.co.uk
  • Score: 0

7:05am Sun 23 Dec 12

dilligaf60@hotmail.co.uk says...

burner wrote:
GREEDY !!
I know all these traders and I bet they dont know WHO their money goes to.
.
[quote][p][bold]burner[/bold] wrote: GREEDY !![/p][/quote]I know all these traders and I bet they dont know WHO their money goes to. . dilligaf60@hotmail.co.uk
  • Score: 0

6:38pm Sun 23 Dec 12

inventorian says...

Heard about this a few weeks back, how can they backdate a rent rise? This will be the final straw for some stallholders, we've lost some great stalls in Blackburn and those that decided to take a risk are now being hurt instead of helped.
Heard about this a few weeks back, how can they backdate a rent rise? This will be the final straw for some stallholders, we've lost some great stalls in Blackburn and those that decided to take a risk are now being hurt instead of helped. inventorian
  • Score: 0

10:23am Mon 24 Dec 12

paperboy70 says...

mgarswood wrote:
there's already enough empty stalls there as it is! only about 60% of the actual market is being used..
Actually mgarswood the market is over 80% full, which is more than the national average which is currently 75%
[quote][p][bold]mgarswood[/bold] wrote: there's already enough empty stalls there as it is! only about 60% of the actual market is being used..[/p][/quote]Actually mgarswood the market is over 80% full, which is more than the national average which is currently 75% paperboy70
  • Score: 0

4:51pm Mon 24 Dec 12

Blackburnisajoke says...

People want a town to be proud of and sumwer nice to shop. The old market was a mess it needs to be pulled down.. Move with the times people. The council need to make money so they plan to put taxes up and every1 moans so they try to raise money another way and people still moan. If the stall owners signed a contract for a certain price then they are right to complain but if they didnt then thats there fault for not negotiating a permanent price.. Thats life people jus live with it you arnt going to change anything by moaning
People want a town to be proud of and sumwer nice to shop. The old market was a mess it needs to be pulled down.. Move with the times people. The council need to make money so they plan to put taxes up and every1 moans so they try to raise money another way and people still moan. If the stall owners signed a contract for a certain price then they are right to complain but if they didnt then thats there fault for not negotiating a permanent price.. Thats life people jus live with it you arnt going to change anything by moaning Blackburnisajoke
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Tue 25 Dec 12

hairy mary says...

stop moaning, blackburns a busy place, if ur not making enough money then move
stop moaning, blackburns a busy place, if ur not making enough money then move hairy mary
  • Score: 0

3:53pm Wed 26 Dec 12

Davelyn says...

Why are these maket traders so mad. They will pass the charges on to the public anyway.
Why are these maket traders so mad. They will pass the charges on to the public anyway. Davelyn
  • Score: 0

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