Ilford High Road market closes and traders claim they only had two days warning that they would be 'jobless'
PUBLISHED: 17:10 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:10 10 July 2019
Angry traders said they were only given two days' notice that they were out of a job after Redbridge Council announced it was closing Ilford market and replacing it with a "better one".
Mujahed Mohammed, 44, who has had a stall for more than four years in the High Road, said more than 20 people, some who had worked in Ilford for 10 years, are now jobless.
"We are just sitting at home trying to call round other markets for work but all of them are already full," he said.
"I have four kids and a family - what am I meant to do to support them?"
The handbag seller who buys in bulk now faces a big bill from wholesalers and no where to sell any goods.
"I have kept calling the council but no one is getting back to me," he added.
"As I also sell suitcases most of my yearly earnings are made during the summer months - why are they closing it now and replacing us when the new market won't come until the middle of next year."
Fishmonger of 10 years, Mohamed Abderraziq, 52 added: "I have built up a relationship with customers here, they trust me.
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"I only work here and all the other markets already have a fishmonger.
"I am the breadwinner for my family how am I meant to feed them?
"It's disgusting - I was closing up my stall and was only told by a market inspector two days before it shut - what are we going to do? Be jobless for nine months till a new market open and even then we might not get a spot."
Redbridge Council confirmed the privately-run outdoor market has stopped trading and a new market with better infrastructure will be built on the site.
"We flagged up our plans for the High Road very early to the private operators who directly contract with market traders for Ilford and elsewhere," a spokesman said.
"In addition, we have kept the individual traders updated throughout the process, including early consultation, face-to-face discussions and correspondence."
The council said it is excited by the new market and operators and traders can apply for stalls.
"A new market layout extending the length of the High Road will allow for a high-quality trading offer, all underpinned by a refreshed approach to overseeing trading operations," he added.
"In the meantime, families will have access to a fun-filled programme of events starting this summer in and around the High Road, working in partnership with Vision and the Exchange."