Price hike threatens popular Sheffield community market

Ian Ramsay, Chairman of Sharrow Vale Community Association. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Ramsay MC 1
Ian Ramsay, Chairman of Sharrow Vale Community Association. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Ramsay MC 1
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A popular community market in Sheffield is under threat after the council increased licensing fees by £775.

Sharrow Vale Market has been running for the past seven years but community leaders fear its future may be in jeopardy following a decision to increase the fee from £25 per market to £800 for an event.

Ian Ramsay, chairman of Sharrow Vale Community Association, which is responsible for running the market, said: “We thought this was a mistake and that the council meant £80.

“We were totally amazed and very angry that they decided without any prior warning or discussion.”

The licensing charge is put in place to allow the council to close the road and put stalls there – but Ian claims the council does not help.

“Sharrow Vale Community Association organises the signs to warn of the road closure,” he said.

Volunteers also offer their time as marshals for the event and clean the road of rubbish after the market, which runs three times a year, in April, July and December.

Ian added: “We have sufficient funds to run the July market, but future markets could be in jeopardy. It is not possible to pass the charges on to stall holders as they would find another market.”

Tom Finnegan-Smith, head of strategic transport and infrastructure at the council, said: “To help ensure the success of this very busy event, we have always had to make a traffic regulation notice that allows for the temporary closure of Sharrow Vale Road.

“The more events that can be authorised at the same time, the lower the costs. If we can cover all the markets in an 18-month period in one go, the costs reduce to £375 each time.”