Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:01 UK

Leeds council hears Kirkgate Market traders' concerns

Kirkgate Market
Traders are worried that the area is becoming run down

Traders at Kirkgate Market in Leeds have asked the city council to reduce rents to safeguard its future.

The workers made the appeal in a presentation to a full council meeting in the city on Wednesday.

They claim high rents are driving stall holders away, causing the area to become run down.

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said 64 of the market's 434 stalls were unused, with talks being held to let out five more.

'Extortionate rents'

She said the issue had been referred to the council's executive committee and was likely to be considered next month.

The GMB said the way traders had been treated by the council was "a disgrace".

The union's Rachel Dix accused the council of charging "extortionate rents and service charges" while giving "very little" back in investment.

Leeds City Council said the market had continued to grow over the past 12 months and £250,000 of funding had been made available over the next two years to help it continue to grow and improve.



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