BARNSLEY’S Sunday market will remain closed until coronavirus restrictions are eased further – though some shoppers are worried it may not return at all.
The market, which has been held in the town centre for more than 20 years, is traditionally hosted by residents and not registered market stallholders.
For that reason it has yet to reopen as licensed stallholders have been asked to complete a risk assessment and carry their own public liability insurance – and those who operate on a Sunday have not.
Some shoppers, including Barbara Morris of Burton Road in Monk Bretton, have been left wondering if it will ever reopen at all.
She said: “The Sunday market not only allowed all those who worked the week the opportunity to have a browse around the market, but then to also do some shopping in the town centre.
“The council have not only stopped shoppers picking up a bargain but I have no doubt affected the incomes of stores and cafes due to people going elsewhere to spend their Sunday mornings.
“Not everyone has the luxury to shop during the week and I know lots of people that are not able to enjoy a day shopping due to work commitments from Monday to Saturday.”
Barbara feels that the coronavirus restrictions are just a ‘lame excuse’ to close down the market.
“Our council after all the years of shoppers, not only from Barnsley but other areas, being allowed to spend their money in the town on Sundays use the excuse of insurance to not allow it any longer,” she added.
“Didn’t the lame excuse of insurance matter for 20 to 30 years before – or were they just looking for an excuse to close down a Sunday market?”
However council bosses have confirmed that they will review the situation once restrictions are eased – but until then they will continue to prioritise registered businesses in the area.
The town’s indoor and outdoor markets have been forced to close on a number of occasions but reopened earlier this month as new guidelines were announced.
Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, said: “We’re encouraging people to support independent businesses by shopping locally at our general and second-hand markets which continue to take place across the borough.
“Our registered stallholders are operating in line with Covid-19 measures that require them to complete a risk assessment and carry their own public liability insurance.
“Car boot sales have been unable to return while Covid-19 measures are in place.
“This is because they’re not registered as market stallholders and are operated by people who want to sell unwanted goods. “We’re continuing to prioritise our registered businesses, and we will review car boot sales as Covid-19 measures are relaxed.”