The European continental markets, held in Douglas, should not sell the same goods as local traders.
This was the verdict reached by Castletown Commissioners after receiving a letter about the ‘great harm’ they do to retailers outside Douglas from Peter Birch, from the Original Manx Fudge Factory.
Mr Birch outlined his concerns about the impact of the markets – organised by the Douglas Development Partnership and held in Douglas in Manx Grand Prix week and also at Christmas – in a letter to local authorities and covered in last week’s Examiner South News.
Mr Birch said the markets ‘are deliberately intended to take trade away from the towns and villages and attract shoppers to Douglas and keep tourists in Douglas.’
He said he believes DDP is ‘deliberately trying to close as many retail businesses in outlying areas and villages so to drive you townsfolk and visitors to have to shop in Douglas … please help to stop them before they destroy the community spirit across this beautiful island.’
He also questioned whether the island derives any income from the markets.
He asked authorities to make their feelings known to MHKs.
The DDP’s Chris Pycroft said other areas could organise markets, his allegiance is to Douglas, there is direct income from licences and indirectly through buying food supplies and accommodation, etc.
Last week, September 3, Castletown Commissioners agreed to contact Mr Pycroft and they wrote: ‘They (commissioners) appreciate that markets selling goods not available from local traders offer an alternative service to Island residents, it is not equitable that this be allowed when they are in direct competition. In addition, they should be encouraged to move the markets out of Douglas at times, and also that the Continental stall holders should pay all appropriate stall fees and taxes.’