Birmingham & Black Country

Willenhall market traders fear effects of strike action

Media captionStallholders said the decision to shut the market on Wednesday was "unfair"

Market traders in the West Midlands say they face losing hundreds of pounds during public sector strikes next week.

Stall holders in Willenhall and Walsall have been told by Walsall council the markets will not operate on Wednesday.

Willenhall trader Chris Thompson said: "It's probably our best day of the week. We have sympathy but don't drag us in."

The Conservative-controlled authority said it had to ensure the safety of shoppers and traders.

Councillor Adrian Andrew said: "There will be disruption to services across the borough.

"This is a national dispute and employees are exercising their democratic right to strike."

Willenhall market runs on three days each week and about 70 stalls open for business on Wednesdays.

'Private contractor'

Mr Thompson has run his stall for 25 years and said he did not understand the council's decision.

He said: "They gave us a letter saying the market has been cancelled with no explanation.

"We can't understand it as the stalls are erected by a private contractor and the rubbish is removed by private contractor.

"The only duty they have is to collect fees - we've suggested we pay in advance at the office and we've had no response from the council."

The council confirmed the stalls are put up and taken down by private contractors but said the overall running was its responsibility.

"We've got a duty of care to shoppers and traders to run a market safely," said Mr Andrew.

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