West Suffolk markets to close

West Suffolk Council has announced that it will close markets in West Suffolk to allow staff to be redeployed in the fight to tackle COVID-19 and its impact.
Market users and traders had been following social spacing and Government guidance with stalls spaced out to enable people to get essential food shopping.
The Council has tried to keep the markets running as long as possible under Government guidelines. But operationally it can no longer be done as the numbers of traders and customers dwindle and the demands on staff due to the impact of COVID-19 rises.
Therefore, for operational reasons, it is better to redeploy those market staff onto other vital COVID-19 work or the extra measures the Government has brought in to support communities and businesses.
West Suffolk Council is working with traders to minimise the impact on them and their customers.
The closure of the markets will start from Tuesday 31 March 2020 and will cover Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, Haverhill, Mildenhall, Brandon and Clare. Although we will keep these under review as some are run with partners.
Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “Having a market in our towns is part of their history. But these are extraordinary times and an operational decision had to be made in the face of dwindling numbers at the markets, increased demands on staff and safety.  Our staff can also be better used in other even more demanding areas to tackle the impact of COVID-19. I would like to thank all those who did use our markets ,and of course our traders , for sticking to the rules and keeping people safe. I recognise this may be a blow for some, but we will continue to work with traders on other initiatives and of course, as soon as we can safely , re-open the markets.”