Government sets up body to protect and promote traditional street markets

By Else Kvist The government is for the fist time setting up a body to protect traditional street markets and farmers markets, it was announced today. The long term future of traditional markets is inc

By Else Kvist

The government is for the fist time setting up a body to protect traditional street markets and farmers markets, it was announced today.

The long term future of traditional markets is increasingly under threat from out-of-town supermarkets, discount stores, internet shopping and the current economic downturn.

The body will be lead by the department for Communities and Local Government. But it will also report to Food and Farming Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, the MP for Poplar and Canning Town.

The body will bring together representatives from government departments and retail markets industry.

It will work with the markets industry to raise the profile of markets, and with local councils to share best practises and encourage them to use their licensing powers to permit more markets. The body will also give markets a forum to discuss and influence future government policy affecting markets including planning and licensing rules.

It will also look at how markets can be used to encourage healthy eating, flexible working for young parents or provide a tourist attraction.

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For reactions to this new body being set up see Thursday's paper edition

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