Letter to the editor: This is an open letter to Lewisham councillors following our petition.

If you want to destroy a street market, you bring in restricted parking. That is how every other traditional London street market has been brought to its knees.

In 2009 a House of Commons report clearly identified the rise of big supermarkets and their free car parking as one of the major reasons street markets are in decline.

So why are hard working local traders not allowed a fair and equal footing with these supermarkets? Why are shoppers burdened with having to pay a parking levy just for coming to Deptford market?

More than 50 shopkeepers and market traders turned up to a recent council meeting to voice their concerns.

Our agenda was clear: “restricted parking is suffocating the market” and our main demand was equally clear: “Remove the restricted parking and allow local trade to flourish.”

Unless this council acts promptly, history will judge it as the wrecker of Deptford market.

Deptford market is home to many hardworking and industrious small scale traders.

Steeped in local history and cultural ethnicity it allows people from all corners of the world to come and make an honest living.

Here you will find produce from all over the world and fantastic value for money, that is why people visit the market.

So why have the UK border police conducted more than 18 high profile raids on Deptford high street in the past 12 months?

This disproportionate amount of police raids and their heavy-handed presence on the high street not only sours the local environment, but also gives out a very negative image of our market.

Once, we had beautiful old fashioned toilets at the bottom of Deptford High Street. They were destroyed in the name of “progress” and a new toilet block built in Giffin Square.

Of course this was also destroyed in the name of “progress”and replaced with two automatic cubicles. And now? “Progress” is complete, we have nothing.

Towering above Douglas Way is the new Cathedral Deptford project with starting prices for a one bedroom flat of £305,000.

Most of these units have already been sold for rent to speculative foreign investors with only 6 per cent of units designated as “affordable homes” for locals.

The British economy is one of the strongest in the world with the rich wealthier than they have ever been before. And yet, with all this money circulating around, this council tells us we cannot afford to have public toilets?

LESLIE FAIZI, A Deptford market trader