The ELA have published my letter. The full text of the letter is below.
I was concerned to read about Columbia Road market traders' worries about the rates for pitches in the market, and the effect that rising costs and the current economic climate is having on their business. As the traders point out, many of the visitors to the market are tourists, who do not buy flowers or plants. However they do contribute to the local economy by visiting and supporting other businesses, who in turn employ local residents.
That is why I called upon the Council in a recent deputation not only to freeze council tax, but to cut business rates, and consider the long term effects of increased fees on the local area. It would be a real shame if traders started moving from Columbia Road with a detrimental effect to all local businesses, due to the cost, because of short sightedness of the Council.
I hope that the Council will think again before imposing any increases on traders, and consider the fees in comparison to other markets.