TWO stallholders are pulling out of Morley Market after 32 years, fearing building work will damage their stock and business.
John and Mandy Sutcliffe, of Amanda Jayne Fashions, left on Thursday after sending a resignation letter to Town and Country Markets’ head office.
Mr Sutcliffe said: “We’re sad we are going but we have no choice.”
He said that with building work on the new Ladbrokes betting shop just weeks off they were increasingly worried the new unit they had been promised was not going to be ready in time.
With deliveries of their spring stock due in February, they were also worried they could not protect it from the dust and dirt of building work and so asked area manager Ray Gall to be allowed to leave the market until the building work and new units were complete.
He said: “They told us they would build us a new unit, I said get it built, we’ll come out and then will come in and start up again which struck us as fair given that they haven’t started on the new stalls yet.
“He said you cannot do that, if you do that everybody will want to do the same and I’ll have anarchy.”
Mrs Sutcliffe said: “We have never been late on the rent, always been open, and paid people to cover our holidays, we have never caused a problem in this market so we thought there might be some give and take.”
Her husband added: “It is our quietest time of the year so why stay longer and lose money? Why should we stay and get our stock damaged by dust?
“Luckily we have other places we can go, markets in Selby, Ossett, Louth and Beverley.”
Mrs Sutcliffe said: “We want to thank our customers for all their support.”
Area manager Ray Gall said work was due to start this week on the new market units and that it will be business as usual as the work is carried out.
He said: “John gave me an ultimatum, on which he was unwilling to compromise. This was to allow him to pull out his business from the market immediately, and then “in three or four months’ time” look to come back into the market in a new unit.
“This was unacceptable to me, as there was no commitment on his behalf to return to the market once we had built him a customised new shop unit.
“Similarly, all other traders would be enduring the disruption of development works for a few weeks, and I could not be seen to be treating John in a preferential manner.”
He said the new units would be completed within two weeks and added: “In the meantime, I hope that the shoppers of Morley will continue to support our traders, and that the building works don’t inconvenience people too much”.