Continental market is criticised by traders

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Council bosses have defended their town after traders on a continental market signed a petition naming it as the worst venue in the country.

More than a dozen traders from across Europe descended on Kettering Market Place for the three-day event last week – but according to Nautilus Natural Fitness Centre manager Antony Lucchesi, many were unhappy.

After speaking to the stallholders Mr Lucchesi printed a petition which described the market as the worst venue in the country and got 11 of the traders to sign it, adding comments on the first day’s trading after they took less than £30 between them.

Kettering Council, which organised the market, is yet to receive the petition.

Council chief executive Martin Hammond said the authority had made changes to the market to improve the situation following the initial feedback it received from the traders.

He said: “We knew the market did not start off as well as we wanted.

“But after initial feedback from traders we made changes such as moving stalls further down the High Street and opening the event up a bit. I understand the market improved and the traders returned for the Friday and Saturday.

“It is the first time for a while we have held such a market and we are learning all the time.”

Mr Hammond said the number of regular stallholders in the town centre had risen by half recently.

The petition organised by Mr Lucchesi revealed that on the first afternoon just £23 was taken between five of the stall holders.

Comments from the traders on the petition included ‘terrible market’, ‘very poor town for business’ and ‘not coming back’.

Mr Lucchesi said: “Kettering Council need to start taking surveys and being honest about things instead of glossing over the unpleasant truth.”

Council leader Russell Roberts had said he hoped the market would return in the run-up to Christmas.