The power of the
pen could force Rugby Council to change its view on the location of the towns
declining retail market.
The market traders are petitioning to move from the current site on the periphery back
into the centre of town.
Frank Bochniak, chairman of the Rugby branch of the National Market Traders
Federation, is convinced such a move is the only way to stop the market shrinking further.
Two years ago there were 120 stalls on the market.
"Now we have 45-50 on a good day," says Frank. "It is a downward
"We have been campaigning for several years to get the market moved into Sheep
Street, High Street and Market Place, so named because that is where the old market used
to be. The council has refused.
"But they shot themselves in the foot recently when they invited a French market
to set up in the centre of town as a promotion. It was so successful that it proved our
point. We will be presenting our petition of 5,000 signatures to the council leaders
Ian Davies, Director of Technical Services at Rugby Council, said:
"The promotion which brought the French market to Rugby encouraged the existing
market traders to renew their efforts and I have no doubt that the council will now wish
to appraise the situation.
"It is by no means a straightforward matter to move however. The existing stalls
are permanent structures. If we moved the market the stalls would have to be capable of
being dismantled. To buy those would cost £60,000-£70,000. It would also be necessary to
install washing facilities for food handling stalls, electricity and power compactor
"There is also a legal problem. The places mentioned by the traders are designated
public highways and it would be illegal to use them for a permanent market.
"The council also has to look at its vision of the town centre. From the traders
viewpoint, to move the market is probably the right thing to do, but the council has to
consider what is for the good of the town."