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Page last updated at 12:32 GMT, Friday, 20 August 2010 13:32 UK
Trader says market closure has cost him 10,000
A deep cleaning operation has been going on since Tuesday at the Indoor Market
The Bullring Indoor Market has had an intensive deep clean treatment.

A trader from Birmingham's Indoor Market says its four-day closure has cost him over £10,000.

The market in the Bullring was shut on Tuesday, 17 August for an intensive deep clean after evidence of mice and cockroaches was found.

Following a final check, environmental health officers initially said the market could reopen on Friday.

But the 168 traders asked for a 24-hour delay allowing them extra time to prepare ahead of opening on Saturday.

Calls for compensation

Clive Ebanks, a fish trader in the market, told BBC WM the enforced closure has hit him hard: "All the stock we had has been condemned so we are starting afresh.

"These are the measures we have taken as a collective just to get the work done so we can call ourselves a clean market.

"It's over £10,000 [money lost] but we are hoping that Birmingham City Council will do the right thing towards us and make sure we get what we deserve."

The public have not been able to use the market since Tuesday.
Shoppers have had to look elsewhere during the market's closure.

Head of Markets Steve Grogan said the council would be sympathetic to calls for the traders to be compensated over their lost earnings.

"The days that they've lost trading, they won't be paying rent for and as regards compensation we're going to look at that and do the right thing.

"I'd like to thank shoppers for their patience and reassure them that they can continue to have the confidence in quality, standard and safety of all the products sold within," he said.

The source of the infestation was traced to problems with the general packaging of goods and, as a result, all produce will be transferred into plastic containers before being brought into the market.

"We've learnt a lesson from this. No packaging of any form, especially cardboard boxes, will be allowed into the market," Steve Grogan added.

Business as usual

Despite its closure, business around the indoor market has continued as normal and seemingly has not been aversely affected.

"When I first heard I was feeling bad but now I am feeling better because everyone is coming over to our side," said one newsagent.

"We are getting more customers so it's been good for us here."

Trade at stores immediately outside the market has not been hit too badly.
Trade at stores immediately outside the market has not been hit too badly.

Another shop owner with a business immediately outside the market said, although he is not concerned about being affected by pest problems, he thinks public confidence has been hit and shoppers may be slow to return to their usual habits.

"I'm not worried about it because I clean my shop every day and I have a pest-control contract so everything's fine with me and trade has been good.

"I'd be very surprised if the same numbers come back again.

"I think a lot of people will be put off by what they've heard but hopefully they'll come back and have trust in the market again."

Customer confidence

Shoppers themselves had mixed views.

"I don't worry but if you came here and saw mice, cockroaches and rats running about what are you going to say?" said one customer.

Another was not so cautious: "I come here every day but I wasn't really shocked [when it closed] because you can't stop mice in a place like that. It's no big deal.

"If it was open now I'd be in there. I can't wait for it to open."

Market traders postpone reopening
20 Aug 10 |  Birmingham
Cockroaches shut market for days
17 Aug 10 |  Birmingham
Market closed over mice discovery
16 Aug 10 |  Birmingham


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