Friday, 19 June 2009

High Court upholds Ridley Road Market trader's appeal.

A Ridley Road Market trader has had his appeal to the High Court upheld. We have previously told how Leslie 'Bonner' Ware had won his appeal to the Magistrates Court after the Council tried to revoke his market trading licence. But the Council refused to pay his legal costs. "It was taking liberties, so I appealed again" said Bonner "We went to trial in the High Court in The Strand. And we won again. Now its going to cost the Council double. It's all public money and an absolute disgrace"

OPEN has reported before about how Hackney Council's bean-counters were going bananas in Ridley Road Market. They had been revoking traders licences, cutting off the electric to their stalls, closing down the market store and prosecuting traders for selling by the bowl or the bunch. It was all getting rather personal. And then the Council's prosecutions policy went pear shaped when the government finally stepped in - it said that the prosecutions were "not in the public interest".

It emerged that Hackney Council planned to redevelop Ridley Road market. And that would be much easier if the traders only had "temporary" licences with no rights of appeal to the Courts. It has revoked numerous markets traders' licences. But most Ridely Road traders are not prepared to be bullied or bribed by bureaucrats. One such is Leslie "Bonner" Ware, a third generation Ridley Road market trader. We told his story here. "It is lucky that I could afford to take the risk of appealing" said Bonner " Many new young traders feel too intimidated." And so Bonner appealed to the Magistrates Court, and won. Then he appealed again to the High Court , for his legal costs to be paid, and won again. Hackney now have to pay the costs of both appeals.

In addition to the £thousands the Council has lost pursuing its policies it has also allocated some £300,000 in fees for consultants to come up with a redevelopment plan for the market. During OPEN's recent public consultation on the Council's "Dalston Area Action Plan - Masterplan" most people said that they don't want the market to be "redeveloped" or "regenerated".

Ridley Road market is at the heart of Dalston life. Most local people want to see its character, as a traditional outdoor street market selling affordable goods and fresh produce, preserved and to see decent conditions for traders and shoppers. Yes - there is plenty of room for improvements. A good start would be to restore lighting to the market stalls and repair the market store. It is now over a year since the Council cut off the electric.

Watch the video
Neneh Cherry and Andi Oliver buy some bunches of callaloo from Janet Devers in Ridley Road. They think Ridley is "The Home of the Bargain!" Long may it continue.


  1. ridley toad is a mess and the traders are self interested in keeping it as it is. ask the shoppers and get some decent traders who pay a fair whack. not as bad as that mob that run broadway market though - so called socialists (ha!)and tories. only in hackney!!!!

  2. Hi n (is that 'n' for negative?). Why don't you you just stick to Tesco? You'd be much happier.

  3. Good point, Mr. Hardly. I wonder what the Tesco Toad thinks Hackney does with all the money the traders have to put up to clean the market...


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