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Traders say decision to cancel Christmas market is 'a disgrace' and 'a disaster'

By This is Lincolnshire  |  Posted: December 02, 2010

Diggers clear snow from City Square in an ill fated attempt to prevent the cancellation of the Christmas Market.

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LINCOLN Christmas Market has been cancelled for the first time in its 28-year history.

Bosses from City Hall axed the four-day event – set to start at 4pm today and run until 7pm on Sunday – after the county was battered by blizzarding conditions, causing several feet of snow in some areas.

The decision has been branded a "commercial disaster" by traders from the Bailgate, but those in charge said the risk to people's safety was too great.

Rob Bradley from the City of Lincoln Council is in charge of safety at the event. He said: "It is with extreme regret that we have taken the decision to cancel the Lincoln Christmas Market this year. This decision has not been made lightly.

"Everyone involved made a Herculean effort to try and keep the event on, but the weather has been too extreme.

"Police advice is for people not to travel at all unless it is absolutely necessary, so we don't want to encourage visitors and stall holders to travel to come along and risk getting stuck on the roads, or worse."

Market organisers had looked at postponing the event, but it would not have been possible to draft in support emergency services at such short notice. And making it a local event only was also not possible.

One trader who did not wish to be named had already travelled several hundred miles to the city to set up his stall. He slammed the decision, saying the council should have acted sooner.

"It's a disgrace. They should have looked at doing something else to keep it open. It's the 21st century, not the 1700s. I'm going to lose about £20,000 in trade because of this cancellation," he said.

Around 60 of the 250 market traders which paid months in advance for a stall had already made the trip to the city only to be turned away.

IN YOUR ECHO: Reaction to the cancellation of the Christmas Market, plus all the latest weather round-up.

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    A. Hunt, Midlands  |  December 04 2010, 5:31PM

    Weather not so dangerous now. I think it was rash decision as weather forecast was not that bad for the weekend. For the gentlemen that thinks taking out force majeur insurance is an easy thing to do, let me tell you it is incredibly expensive and very difficult to do. We do not put our businesses on the line for 3 days a year, but in these times you cannot take this kind of loss just before Christmas and let me add I do not sell tat. It is not just the £3,000 stand cost, it is the stock, the hotels, the van hire, the costumer hire, trying to pay staff that now don't have the work just before Christmas. I have just read a press release from the Council saying they will consider whether they will give the traders their money back next week or whether the costs are too high. Do you think that is fair. To pay thousands of pounds of money to the Council for something they have not delivered. I don't think it is fair. I have accepted my other losses but I will not accept the no refund stance and I do not think that anybody else should. It just simply is NOT FAIR. They cancelled and they should do the right thing.

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    Sam, Lincoln  |  December 03 2010, 11:18PM

    I don't think we can really judge the City Council until we've heard their reasons for why it couldn't be postponed, and whether the stall holders will get their refunds. As for the traders and the city I love, as an economics graduate I can already see many of the ways in which this will play out in the near future, and I can't find the words to express how sorry I am. My heart goes out, really... For local residents complaining about pavements and roads... I went outside with a shovel yesterday morning and it took me about an hour to clear the path my side of the street and the road in front of my house. If every able bodied person in a street did that, the place would be clear in an hour. I was hoping I might have set an example and some others might follow suit, but nope - the patch outside my house is still the only clear bit in the street. This morning I did a few metres either side as well. All I got for it was funny looks and snide comments from passers-by and neighbours. One guy said "You're mad, doing that yourself. It's the council's job!" I thought that summed up what I find so sad about people's attitudes these days... I was just doing what I saw my dad and grandad doing when I was a kid. Doesn't matter whose "job" it is - if you want something done quickly, do it yourself! What's your real concern - that it's done? Or that the "right" person does it? I know that's not a practical solution for the main roads but in residential areas if people were more community minded and got off their butts a bit more, we wouldn't have so many people being "stuck in the house" and slipping over on "treacherous" pavements.

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    Rebecca Dray, Lincoln  |  December 02 2010, 10:10PM

    All is not lost!! Down on Beaumont Fee we have opened the doors of The Healthy Hub to 20+ regular Lincoln Christmas Market traders. We have cleared all our snow and the atmosphere is great. See www.alternativechristmasmarket.co.uk for details of stall holders and more. This is community spirit at it's best. Plus - it's indoors!! We will be running all weekend from 12pm Friday

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    Vicki, Lincoln  |  December 02 2010, 9:13PM

    I love the Christmas market and make an effort to go every year and this year it will be missed. That said, with the current weather it is dangerous enough to walk around this area let alone having thousands upon thousands of people who don't know the area descending upon us in cars. I definitely think this decision will have saved some lives.

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    jimroyle1, in front of the telly  |  December 02 2010, 8:55PM

    for the local traders.......... http://www.alternativechristmasmarket.co.uk/

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    Jas, Lincoln  |  December 02 2010, 8:40PM

    Maybe some stall holders could rent a section of the indoor market, always seems to be a hole in their somewhere. Uphill traders will take a hit, but im sure if they bring out some offers they will bring some trade uphill.

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    tony, lincoln  |  December 02 2010, 6:40PM

    sorry it was ment to say have to not have top lol. to Sophieee, Lincoln you sum up the young people nothing matters except getting drunk and a good time. hope you boss sees this and makes you work as i would have.

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    tony, lincoln  |  December 02 2010, 6:37PM

    to Jenny Lincoln thats nice book a table at one of the restaurant and treat your self to a nice meal To every one else - the market is not going ahead right or wrong deal with it i own a business in the bail it will hit us as hard as ever other business but we will get over it we have top and that is that nothing else to be said

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    Julie, Leicester  |  December 02 2010, 6:30PM

    Im SO glad the market was cancelled hehehe, I was due to work it but now I can go out and get drunk with my mates instead WOOP. Also im glad cause it means my employer (who is the embodiment of PURE EVIL) has lost thousands of ££££ with all the dosh he has spent! haha IN YO FACE. This has been the best decision made by the council EVER. Sophieee, Lincoln I think all the drinking has damaged your brain cells, 'Sophieee' -has it really not occurred to you that the money your employer has lost means he may now have to make some staff redundant. Still that means you'll be free to go drinking 24/7 if your mates will pay for it, wont it...

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    A wiser oldist man, Lincoln  |  December 02 2010, 6:26PM

    As the UK is expected to have cold and snowy weather in the future, it is about time investment was put into infrastructure to combat the situation. This is lacking in government and local authority thinking. It many be due to climate change? But again, it may not? However said that, history is teaching us that we do not learn from history over the many mistakes being made. After all, whatever, the taxpayer has to pick up the tab! But then, in dealing with our financial and debt problem, we are robbing Peter to pay Paul as with cuts in public expenditure and services only to give the savings to bail out EU countries like Eire with the possiblity of bailing out Spain and Portugal later. But going back to the cancellation of the Lincoln Christmas Market at short notice, there should have been another contingency plan to be put into place? This is done elsewhere in other countries so why not Lincoln to keep Lincoln's reputation regarding the famous Christmas Market. The severe weather can be blamed for this year's cancellation. But officers, councillors, the MP for Lincoln, stallholders, local businesses and shops, should be working together to avoid another disappointment and fiasco if it ever happens again. If the same mistakes keep occuring so will Lincoln's reputation. Communication is the key word which has been lacking from the City of Lincoln Council, and please no further excuses as this is wearing thin!