Concern over future of Caistor market

A long-standing trader at Caistor’s weekly market says he fears for its future if more support isn’t forthcoming.
Caistor marketCaistor market
Caistor market

Over the years, butcher Bill Overy has had stalls at a number of markets across the area, including Caistor for more than 30 years.

Now aged 81, Mr Overy leaves his son Stuart to run the stall, but he is still very much involved in the preparation and is passionate about market trading.

His concerns over Caistor’s Saturday market came to a head last weekend, when another main stall, selling fruit and vegetables, did not turn out.

Mr Overy said: “We can’t do without the veg stall.

“It is a main part of the market and without it there will not be a future.

“This is supposed to be a market town and it [the market] is gradually fading out.”

It is understood the non-appearance of the fruit and vegetable stall was due to some confusion over being told the trader was unable to sell one of its products as another stall was also selling the item.

Mr Overy added: “We do our best for our customers. Keeping prices down to help people out, much better value and quality than you get in supermarkets.

“The market has been struggling for a time now.”

Caistor Town Council, which runs the market, has denied any such restrictions being placed on the stall holder.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the council said it will be looking into the situation.

The statement, issued jointly by town clerk Carl Thomas and town mayor Jon Wright, reads: “Caistor Town Council are aware of and have received a number of complaints relating to the non-attendance of a long-standing vendor to the market selling fruit and vegetables.

“Caistor Town Council have not had any discussions with any vendors, issued restrictions or entered into an ‘exclusive’ agreement with any vendor who attends the market.

“The market is managed by the Economic Development & Market Committee who report to the full council. A complaint had been received by the Town Council on 6th November and this was being dealt with through this committee at its next meeting.

“We are presently establishing why the vendor has chosen to take the action they have and should it be the case that a member of Caistor Town Council has breached any policies or the Code of Conduct appropriate action will be taken.

“Today’s absence has clearly upset several residents and equally many members of the Council and it’s important that we establish the correct facts before making any further comment.

“Equally the Town Council will engage with the vendor in an attempt to reach a compromise.

“The market is an important aspect to this Town and Caistor Town Council will continue to work hard, as it has done, to ensure that we provide this important service to our residents.”