Swanley Council votes against plans for Christmas Eve market

News Shopper: Swanley Councillor Mark Fittock opposes plans for a Christmas Eve market. Swanley Councillor Mark Fittock opposes plans for a Christmas Eve market.

THERE will be no Christmas Eve market in Swanley this year if town councillors get their way.

With Christmas Day falling on a Tuesday, the town’s regular Wednesday market will not go ahead and operators Wendy Fair Markets have proposed to hold it on Christmas Eve instead.

But when asked by Sevenoaks District Council to vote on the proposal, Swanley Town councillors almost unanimously rejected the plan at a full council meeting last Wednesday (November 28).

They say the lack of available district council street cleaners on Christmas Eve has led to fears the town centre will be left littered in rubbish on Christmas morning.

Labour group leader and St Mary’s ward Councillor Mark Fittock opposed the plans both as a Swanley Town councillor and a Sevenoaks District councillor.

He told News Shopper: "Everybody complains about rubbish in the town centre.

"It’s particularly challenging when the market shuts because there’s so much waste and litter left behind by traders.

"It could leave the town in a terrible state and I can’t see any advantage to it."

Labour’s Janet Sargeant was the only Swanley Town councillor to vote in favour of a market on December 24.

The White Oak ward councillor says she agreed for the same operator to run a Christmas Eve market in 2007 when the day itself also fell on Wednesday.

She explained: "They had a large skip set up and a mechanical sweeper came in.

"I went down at six o’clock on Christmas Eve and I couldn’t have asked for it any cleaner.

"If they had left my town in a state then I wouldn’t have supported it this time."

A spokeswoman for Sevenoaks District Council said: "We are considering holding a Christmas market in Swanley this year, which will be decided this week."

Sevenoaks District Council is in the process of replacing Wendy Fair Markets as Swanley's market operator after the company went into liquidation in August, owing the council £74,000.

Comments (5)

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5:44pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Lord Erastus Theobald Piggott says...

'They say the lack of available district council street cleaners on Christmas Eve has led to fears the town centre will be left littered in rubbish on Christmas morning.'

Then put some/all of the Swanley unemployed to good use. Make 'em earn their benefit for one!
'They say the lack of available district council street cleaners on Christmas Eve has led to fears the town centre will be left littered in rubbish on Christmas morning.' Then put some/all of the Swanley unemployed to good use. Make 'em earn their benefit for one! Lord Erastus Theobald Piggott

5:48pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Lord Erastus Theobald Piggott says...

*once!
*once! Lord Erastus Theobald Piggott

9:22pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Gypo.Joe says...

Perhaps Fittocks family can buy him some razor blades for Christmas.
Mind you he looks like your typical Swanley resident....an old paraffin lamp.
Perhaps Fittocks family can buy him some razor blades for Christmas. Mind you he looks like your typical Swanley resident....an old paraffin lamp. Gypo.Joe

11:42am Mon 3 Dec 12

rw4732 says...

It worked very well the last time we had a Christmas eve market and some people are on very tight budgets this year and will now not get a bargain at the Market on Christmas eve,not all of us share Cllr Fittocks views, lets hope the District Council continue with the market, it seems only Cllr Janet Sargeant has considered the finances of all the those who are on tight budgets, well done Cllr Sargeant.
It worked very well the last time we had a Christmas eve market and some people are on very tight budgets this year and will now not get a bargain at the Market on Christmas eve,not all of us share Cllr Fittocks views, lets hope the District Council continue with the market, it seems only Cllr Janet Sargeant has considered the finances of all the those who are on tight budgets, well done Cllr Sargeant. rw4732

2:49pm Mon 3 Dec 12

goldenbroomboy says...

Pay somebody to work late Xmas Eve cleaning it up.

BUT don't tip them before checking there are no Snidewatch cameras about.
Pay somebody to work late Xmas Eve cleaning it up. BUT don't tip them before checking there are no Snidewatch cameras about. goldenbroomboy

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