Birmingham & Black Country

Bilston market traders plan not to pay rent rise

Indoor market traders are planning to refuse to pay their rent increase after a council decided to put up payments.

Traders on up to 50 stalls in Bilston would pay the current amount from Saturday but not the 5% rise, traders representative Jag Sandhu said.

He added people were "very worried" about their livelihoods.

Wolverhampton City Council said it needs to save £123m over the next five years and this was explained before and after the decision to increase rents.

Mr Sandhu, 50, who sells bed linen and has been trading inside and outside since 1987, said traders were "angry".

'Unprecedented pressures'

"They feel when it comes to financial matters... the council won't listen to us," he said.

"If you become uncompetitive, due to prices, people will go elsewhere to shops and you lose your regular customers."

In a statement, the council said it was aware some traders were "unhappy" with the rent rise, but it was "facing unprecedented financial pressures" due to a cut in government funding.

It added a petition "has been submitted" to the authority and petitioners would be able to outline concerns to councillors at a meeting on a date to be fixed.

A council spokesman said if the petitions committee felt the petitioners had a case, the committee would ask the cabinet to reconsider.

The authority "values and appreciates" the success of the market, which was "thriving" compared to others elsewhere, it said.

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