East End stallholders protest at red tape’ killing street markets

HUNDREDS of London stallholders are marching this-morning to protest over red tape’ they say is killing off street markets in London’s East End in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics. They are setting off from Whitechapel at 9am

By Mike Brooke

HUNDREDS of London stallholders are marching this-morning to protest over Town Hall 'red tape' they say is killing off street markets in London's East End in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.

They are setting off from Whitechapel at 9am with banners heading to Tower Hamlets council's market supervisor's office off Petticoat Lane.

The protesters are handing in a petition with 200 names blaming the local authority and Transport for London for 'draconian' measures they say will force markets to disappear.

"They want to shut down Whitechapel Market before 2012 and squeeze us out," claimed stallholders' spokesman Imran Qadir.


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"There's nowhere to leave our vehicles and we're given just 10 mins to unload before they dish out parking tickets.

"They are killing our livelihoods. We have families to support and they're killing business instead of helping us through the recession."

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Increasing restrictions over parking and even licensing pitches are no longer making the markets viable, stallholders insist.

"They want to clear our 'dirty old market' out of the way of 'High Street 2012' along Whitechapel," Imran claims. "They want to show the world how clean Tower Hamlets is.

"But that will kill off street markets that are part of London's character."

The traders also plan to take their protest later to the Town Hall calling for restrictions to be eased.

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