Traders’ fury over market loss claims

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STREET traders on The Moor in Sheffield have accused council chiefs of ‘misleading’ the public by claiming the market is making a loss when a council memo shows it is set to make £12,000 profit.

Stallholders are in a dispute with Sheffield Council about where they will be temporarily relocated during work to repave The Moor next year.

They say the council claimed the Moor Market was due to make a £20,000 loss during the 2011/12 financial year to take away public sympathy for their cause.

Stallholder William Glover said: “The council made the claim when they knew it was not the case.

“It was deliberate spin put out to mislead the public and take away sympathy for our cause. It’s just appalling.”

Mr Glover, who has a stall previously run by his father, George, said a meeting held with markets manager Andy Ward to discuss temporary relocation of the market had failed to reach a solution.

Traders were told they could move to Castle Market but they want to move to the top of Fargate or the Peace Gardens.

At the meeting, Mr Ward handed traders an internal memo showing the Moor Market’s income from stall rents in 2011/12 would be £120,000 - down from the £151,000 predicted at the start of the financial year.

But predicted running costs are £108,151 - leaving a profit of £11,849.

Sheffield Council deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, Coun Bryan Lodge, said: “There was no intention to mislead the public. The market is expected to achieve a surplus because officers have taken action to reduce costs. The market was due to make an £18,000 loss.”