FEARS have been raised about the future of Peterborough City Market following proposals to axe its market manager.
The role is among those under threat in Peterborough City Council’s restructuring plans, which is part of its proposed budget and currently out for public consultation.
The proposal has sounded alarm bells among Peterborough’s market traders with Ed Cullum, chairman of the Peterborough branch of the National Market Traders’ Federation, saying he felt it was a vote of no confidence in their operation.
He also slammed the proposal as “short-sighted” and said “it would be a retrograde step for all concerned”.
Mr Cullum, who runs Mad Ed’s Discount Store, in Peterborough City Market, said he felt without a single market manager role at the council, dedicated to Peterborough’s markets, the level of support for traders would suffer.
He said: “It’s going to make it very disjointed in terms of a point of contact. It’s going to make it very difficult to raise any issues with the appropriate person within the council.”
In December, Mr Cullum spoke to the Evening Telegraph about his vision for the revitalisation of the market but has now said if the market manager role was made redundant it would make it harder to take his ambitions forward.
He said: “I want everybody to be proud of the market. We are not currently and we need to be and the way we can do that is be getting the council’s support. This seems to be a negative step.
“We can actually make money if we work together as a team.”
Malcolm Biron (50), of Biron and Son Booksellers, said he felt the support was already lacking from the city council, criticising a lack of advertising, in particular.
He said: “They don’t try advertising the market like other markets are advertised around the country.
“We do not get the support we need any way.”
Paul Phillipson, the city council’s executive director of operations, confirmed that the consultation was ongoing about the possible loss of the market manager role.
However, he stressed that if the post were lost, the responsibilities contained within the role would be absorbed by other members of council staff.
He said: “We shall still manage the market.”
A council spokeswoman added: “There is a consultation about a proposed restructure ongoing in the council’s operations directorate so it would be inappropriate to comment further.
“Management of the market falls within the operations directorate.”
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Related: Ambitious plans will give Peterborough city market new life, 31 December 2011