Councillors stall Ludlow Market decision due to concern over mask wearing
Ludlow town council has decided against allowing more market stalls to reopen amid worries that some traders are not wearing protective masks or visors as requested.
The town's popular outdoor markets reopened in June but with a reduction in the number of stalls to allow social distancing.
The market returned to trade at Market Square and Events Square with a maximum of 20 trading spaces. This was increased to 30 trading spaces from July 8.
On Monday night the council debated whether to increase numbers by allowing a further five stalls.
However, after hearing that some traders were not wearing the masks or visors supplied by the council councillors voted not to increase the number of stalls for the time being.
Councillors thanked all the stall holders that were wearing the PPE. However they said while some traders were not following the regulations the size of the market could not be increased.
Shropshire councillor, Andy Boddington, who represents Ludlow, listened in to the online meeting.
He now wants to see talks between the council officials and traders to try to resolve the difficulties so that the number of stalls can increase.
"Markets are at the heart of Ludlow and and so important to the town's economy," he said.
"They bring visitors into the town and during the summer are held every day, apart from Tuesday."
Councillor Boddington said many things had been done to make Ludlow feel as safe as possible.
"We have closed King Street, known as The Narrows for obvious reasons, and most people in Ludlow are very careful about social distancing. It feels a very safe place in which to be," he added.
"We need to learn to live in a socially distanced world and while this is always going to be imperfect, we really do need to get back to some kind of normality.
"Things have been picking up in Ludlow and a buzz has been returning to the town. I really hope that there can be discussions to resolve this problem so we can see more market stalls.
"It would help so much in being able to provide the size of stall - single or double - that traders need."
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