The organisers of Saltburn Farmers Market write:
“For 12 years the organisers of Saltburn Farmers’ Market have been consistently positive with every comment and post, in the press, in social media and on the radio. We have supported the announcement of every new business in town, we have been part of Town Charities, given to every tombola, raffle and fundraiser we possibly could and found space for groups and organisations that wanted to be part of the market. It is with a very heavy heart we break this policy and find we can longer keep smiling.
“Two days ago the organisers of Saltburn Farmers’ Market were asked not to go ahead with a market this Saturday. This morning today we were informed by Redcar and Cleveland Council if Saltburn Farmers Market planned to go ahead this Saturday legal action would be taken to force us to close. As the organisers we feel this is a disgrace. We have been open and communicative with the council and have had to drag information out of them.
“The last thing we would want is for customers or residents to come, given how awful this disease can be. However, we do feel facilitating outdoor shopping, buying local produce from local food producers, creating a safe outdoor environment where people can shop and enjoy themselves is possible.
We have gone to great length to do this ourselves and we have asked for support but have had none, so when RCBC announce they support local traders, work with the organisers and are grateful for the dedication of local businesses we feel they are insincere words. When they say the residents are their main concern, given the lack of management on the seafront, we do not see this.
We have run 4 markets since the first lockdown, know our footfall and customers well and, have a refreshingly compliant range of shoppers, supported by our very friendly stewards! We were purposefully the last local market to restart after the first lockdown and are the only market to have reduced trader numbers by half putting safety before income.
On the 4th of November we asked the council to facilitate relocation of the market from the town centre to a car park or a small section of the widest area on Marine Parade. We were told they could not help as the car parks would be kept open for visitors, even the council-owned car park opposite Saltburn Golf Club was refused.
“On the 10th Nov Sainsburys offered their car park, new risk assessments were written and having checked the proposed procedures the Environmental Health Team said ‘It looks like you have covered all of the key issues / controls, good management is now the key issue’.
“On the 12th November the Council asked us not to go ahead with the market two days later, even well spaced and out of the way in a car park.
“On the 24th November we asked the council what contingencies they were working to if we should go into tier 2 or 3 so we could plan accordingly for December. To date we have not received a reply.
“So we are sorry for the late notice that we won’t be running a market this Saturday, we feel we are letting all our traders down and our customers down, who we know would have followed us to the furthest corner of any car park had it been possible.
“All that is left to say is Merry Christmas to One and All, keep safe, keep smiling and we hope to see you next year!”