From conversations with some Fleetwood market traders and customers recently it is clear that there are concerns about the progress of the maintenance upgrades at the market, and that existing issues are undermining the vitality of the stalls and the market itself.

I have heard from stall holders and customers alike that the lack of heating, especially during these spells of cold and freezing weather are uncomfortable and off-putting. Also, there are some structural issues with the roof which has caused damage to merchandise and forced some venders to cease trading.

This is impacting the livelihoods of our local, independent businesses whilst also causing great inconvenience for loyal customers.

At a time when businesses are faced with stealth taxes, record numbers of small business closures, forgotten high streets, and underinvestment in our high streets, supporting our loved small independent businesses is more critical than ever.

The vast majority of businesses in this country are Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), employing 16.7 million people and boosting our economy by £2.4tn. They are the beating heart of our economy and breathe life into our high streets.

Labour’s plans to scrap business rates for a fairer system, legislate to tackle the £20bn late invoices owed to small businesses from larger firms, create a specific offence for assaults against retail workers, and revamp empty shops by giving councils new powers to take over and reopen them will all help revitalise our high streets and give small businesses the confidence, opportunity, and support they need to thrive.

I have contacted the Chief Executive for Wyre Council in a letter which you can read below outlining the issues traders and customers are facing, asking that the council address these and provide support and compensation to those worst affected.

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