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CORONAVIRUS: Council 'not sensible' to keep Lockmeadow markets open

Monday 23rd March 2020

A COUNCIL decision to keep Maidstone’s twice weekly market open has come in for fierce criticism from one of its own members.

Councillor Eddie Powell says social distancing measures to keep the corona virus at bay cannot work at such events.

Liberal Democrat led Maidstone Borough Council today announced it would keep the Lockmeadow markets going “to help supply local residents with fresh produce.”

Independent borough councillor Eddie Powell: “Social distancing is a sensible thing to do and in this context, it's not right and not sensible to hold markets because it is in the nature of these events for people to come closer together.

“It will not work. It sounds like the leadership of Maidstone Borough Council has got it wrong yet again.”

An MBC spokesman said: “The Council is particularly encouraging traders selling essential items such as fresh fruit, vegetables, other food items, cleaning products and toilet rolls to take a pitch at the weekly markets. 

“One of the aims in particular, is to help support local producers, farmers and wholesalers who would normally supply to the restaurant chains and cafes to sell their goods to local people via the regular Market.

“The MBC Market team is also taking steps to make operating as safe as possible with larger gaps between each pitch of 2metres, all stalls will be outside (under cover if bad weather). 

“Customers will also be encouraged to follow safe distance guidance when shopping at the market with 2metre floor markers to indicate where people should stand when queuing.”