FRUSTRATED business owners have quit a popular market after slamming increased rents and slashed opening times by Wickford Town Council. 

The town council took over the market at the start of this month but stall holders have revealed they are walking away after a series of changes to the terms and conditions. 

According to stall holders, they are now being charged £20 rather than £10 for a 3x3metre pitch as well as not being able to trade before 8am and having to provide their own gazebo. 

Joshua Morter has been running his stall Broomfield Poultry with his brother, Paul, for almost a decade and claims four traders have quit already with many more “considering leaving”. 

Wickford Town Council was unable to comment but pointed the Echo towards the new terms and conditions document on its website. 

Several businesses have announced their departure from the market on social media.Several businesses have announced their departure from the market on social media. (Image: Joshua Morter)


“When I last did a headcount, about 19 businesses told me they wanted to leave,” said Morter.

“We are one of the bigger businesses in the market so we can adapt to the changes but the smaller businesses can’t cope with it.

“The council need to listen to traders about these changes. They were just thrown at us suddenly without any consultation.

“I spoke to the council but it seems like they don’t take anything we say on board. Their reasoning for the higher prices was to attract new traders but that’s not working.

“The footfall is so low that many were just about breaking even on the previous rates, but now it’s too much.”

Another owner, who has chosen to remain anonymous, claims the council has “killed” the market with “illogical” decisions.

He said: “The market was already not doing well but this was the last straw that made us leave.

“It is a completely unviable market and feels like an afterthought. It has poor access and is in such a cramped area that doesn’t attract a lot of footfall.

“The worst part is because stalls have taken to social media to share that they’re leaving, people have been completely put off from going there.

“This has just been a blunder of errors. The market is finished and un-resurrectable.”