South Woodford and Wanstead outdoor markets cancelled 12 hours before opening due to rising coronavirus rates

The South Woodford market was cancelled 12 hours before it was set to open on Saturday, December 5. Picture: South Woodford B...

The South Woodford market was cancelled 12 hours before it was set to open on Saturday, December 5. Picture: South Woodford Business Forum - Credit: Archant

The outdoor markets in South Woodford and Wanstead were cancelled this weekend, just 12 hours before traders were set to open their stalls, due to rising coronavirus rates.

The Wanstead Market was set to open on Sunday but was also cancelled due to rising coronavirus rates. Picture: Jack Edwards

The Wanstead Market was set to open on Sunday but was also cancelled due to rising coronavirus rates. Picture: Jack Edwards - Credit: Archant

The South Woodford market in George Lane was set to open today (Saturday, December 5) with the Wanstead Sunday Market set to open on Sunday, December 6 after getting permission to do so from the council on Wednesday.

On Friday evening the market’s organiser, Ace Events was notified that due to high coronavirus rates in the borough, particularly in those areas the council had made the decision to cancel the markets at the eleventh hour.

Despite Redbridge moving to Tier 2 restrictions along with the rest of London after coming out of the nation-wide lockdown the infection rate in the borough is the highest in London - at 308 positive daily cases per 100,000 people.

The market’s organiser said it was unfair to traders who are legally allowed to have an open-air market as part of Tier 2 restrictions and they were planning on putting in place strict safety measures such as mask enforcement, social distancing and a one-way system.


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A spokesperson for Ace Events told the Recorder: “The council had two weeks object to the licence and there were none despite the coronavirus rate being high in Redbridge then.

“I have not slept all night dealing with upset traders who now have to throw away thousands of pounds of stock.”

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There were 25 traders expected at the South Woodford market on Saturday and Sunday and 35 at the Wanstead Sunday market.

In a letter from the council seen by the Recorder a council officer said: “We have not taken this decision lightly. “We are actively seeking to bring the (coronavirus) rates down and so tracking and acting locally within the borough where the markets are planned this weekend, amongst other areas.

“Given this information we need to act locally to do what we can to prevent the spread of infection getting any worse.”

The letter went on to say the council will discuss on Monday how it could help support the traders going forward.

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