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I saw this reported on Harringay Online and felt suitably outraged by its contents. The copy is taken from an email sent out by the Stall4All co-ordinator. I know the Budgen's team are on the board, so it would be great if someone could comment and let forum members know how we could register our disapproval and help in anyway.
"Stall4All outside Thornton's Budgens in Crouch End has been shut down by a Haringey council officer last Thursday the 7th of June on the grounds that our stalls needed to be licensed. When enquiring how I could go on about getting a license I was told we couldn't apply for one as the space (Budgens' own private space) in question is not considered a designated trading area.
This is extremely upsetting and frustrating for the stall holders we have been supporting for a whole year at a time of economic uncertainty. Stall4All is a not for profit organisation which has been supporting local residents in going back to work by providing them with a space to showcase and sell their work. In addition, we have been supporting local charities and community events such as the Crouch End Festival where children built their versions of the supermarket and the stalls outside, displayed at the library. Funnily enough, we have recently had an enquire from a council department to hire one of the stalls to help promote their services. How ironic, to say the least! Well, we will have to decline their application.
A big slice of our stalls' income goes to Pennies for Plastic which has been helping several charities in the area. By stopping us trading, the council is stopping money going to these causes which is just very unfortunate (and wrong).
We have been using the stalls for a year and I don't understand why they have caused a problem now and with no chance to sort it at all, even though we immediately ceased trading when told to and were willing to pay for a license to trade in our own pavement. I feel that my hands are tied and that I am letting down a lot of locals. Is there any way out of this situation?
I have copied a few media contacts into this email. I can only hope someone will see how unfair the situation is and make it public.
Thank you for reading."
Well spotted Cupcake.
The council has a long history of arse about face decisions.For instance the decision to close the athletics track at Finsbury Park in London's Olympic Year. There have been many attempts at markets in the Town Hall Square all of which have come to nothing.
While it is tempting to blame council over zealousness for this closure there may be another motive. There is always some conflict between shopkeepers and market stall holders, and many of the objections to having market stalls does come from local traders.
Perhaps the council official was put up to it by a trade who felt his trade was being under cut.
I doubt very much that local traders could object to the Budgen's Stall4All people as the goods they offer are often not available elsewhere in Crouch End. Handmade jewellery, for example or Ndulge's handmade cosmetics. Several artists have sold their prints there and the Pereine Press has been there with its exquisite books. The goods on offer at the stall enhance Crouch End's shopping offer so why would shop traders object
The closure is far more likely to be the result of Haringey's strange street trading laws - are we the only borough in London which does not have a street market? Think about it - apart from a couple of stalls in Tottenham, where are the street stalls that make London the vibrant place it is? It seems the spirit of Reg Hart lives on!
Reg Hart (Editor's note, for those as unaware as I)
Councillor Winskill has already written to Councillors Canver and Kober at Haringey, to the following effect: