Flint’s 700 year old Charter Market recommended for closure as Councillors examine problems rather than seeking solutions

Stall numbers have dwindled on Flint’s Friday Charter Market with trade going to out-of-town shopping centres

Flint’s 700-year-old Charter Market could close if council chiefs adopts proposals in a new report which recommends two other markets are transferred to local town councils and only profitable Mold Market will retain any degree of professional management.

The historic town of Flint would see its ancient Friday market end under the plans. Connah’s Quay market would provisionally transfer to the town’s council, while Holywell’s Thursday market would continue for now with further discussions about how to cut costs.

Flintshire Council will discuss the report’s proposals at its 14th March 2018 meeting of the Community and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee, but insisted the decision is “not being taken lightly”.

The report states that Mold is the only market in the county that hasn’t been affected by a general slump in trade and that the proposed changes could save the council £21,000 a year.

Last year traders set-up a petition in a bid to save Flint market, while another called for it to be moved to a new location because of traffic problems it caused around its Church Street base.

Cllr Vicky Perfect said in recent times the market had sparked complaints from locals.

She said: “It’s just gone down and down in the past. We have only had two stalls some weeks and the whole of Church Street is closed for it.

“Residents have been annoyed that Church Street has been closed for the market.”

It is thought there have been talks about continuing some kind of independent market in an alternative location within the town and there are hopes that will still happen.

As part of the consultation into the area’s markets the council says it has spoken to open air traders in Holywell and Flint and canvassed town councils in the three affected areas.

Cllr Derek Butler, said: “Markets generally contribute to the economic and social vitality of towns and can bring more people into town to benefit the wider businesses and services.

“This is still true in Mold, but the other markets have reduced in size considerably in the last four years, despite promotion and growth initiatives across all market towns.

“In this current economic climate, with the Council needing to find further efficiencies, it is not realistic to sustain a substantial loss of income into the future.

“We appreciate the concern of local residents, especially those who signed the petition to keep Flint market, and this decision is not being taken lightly.”

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