An opening date has still to be agreed for Peterborough’s new outdoor market that was meant to be in business eight weeks ago.
Traders at the new market in Bridge Street should have been hard at work from June but a number of issues conspired to delay the stat of trading.
It prompted Peterborough City Council to tell the traders to take an extended holiday on full pay – a move that has cost the local authority £40,000.
The council initially blamed a shortage of wood and the global supply chain crisis for the delay, which prevented the market being up and ready by the beginning of June.
That was followed by another delay caused by the intricacies of the design of the 12 ‘unique’ wooden kiosks for the construction company with the council confident the outdoor market would be ready by the start of August.
But although the kiosks are now mostly built, the council is in discussions with traders about the leases.
A spokesperson said: “We are currently agreeing an opening date and will be able to give a firm update at the end of the week.”
But fruit and veg trader Steve Steve Wetherill, who has been in business for 38 years, said: “The council only gave us the leases on Tuesday and expects us to sign them almost straight away.
"But we got to go through them, send them to the solicitor and then back to the council before we get the keys.
“And then we’ve got to organise stock. It’s going to a minimum of days before I can start trading again.
"And the council has stopped paying us.
He added: “I’m looking forward to getting back to to work and trading again but I’m not overly excited about the kiosks – there are going to be problems.
"There is an eight to 10 centimetres gap between the ground and the walls – that is going to be a security risk as we will have stock, scales and tills inside and it also will allow vermin and rubbish to get in.
"It is all because the council would not listen to the traders.”