On Tuesday 3rd December the Save Ridley Road campaign is inviting local people to join them from 5pm for the unveiling of a new campaign banner followed with an evening of talks, music, dancing, laughter, food and drink in the Ridley Road Market Bar until late.
You will learn the latest situation concerning the indoor market traders who battled the off-shore development company which tried to evict them from the Shopping Village on just 14 days notice. And how recently it gave just 3 days notice of its intention to lock-out the tenants using the basement storage units.
You will also learn about the community's application to Hackney Council to declare the Shopping Village an Asset of Community Value. The Shopping Village has been a longstanding community resource as a place for up to 60 small independent traders, as essential storage for street market traders, and for its cultural uses by 60 artists and creatives working on the upper floors. Its owner, Larochette, which is based in the British Virgin Islands secrecy jurisdiction, has applied for planning permission to turn the Shopping Village into luxury offices and flats.
And, if that wasn't enough trouble, you will learn of Hackney Council's emerging plans to impose new licensing regulations on Ridley Road's street market traders which run to 33 pages. One trader described the document as "101 ways to lose you licence". The changes include the Council's right to cancel street trading licences when required to enable private development. ( The Shopping Village developer claims that 28 pitches in Ridley Road will need to cease trading during the works Ed.). Hackney have recruited new staff to implement these changes including their enforcer who is reported to have been dismissed from the Met Police for misconduct following allegations of "discreditable conduct" and of using bullying and harassing language and behaviour. Another new manager is rumored to have had a career in privatising Council markets (I fear that this is not going to end well. Ed.)