Praise for keeping markets open in Stamford, Bourne and Grantham during coronavirus pandemic and lockdown
A councillor has praised the "fantastic team effort" that led to her being nominated as a 'market hero'.
Coun Rosemary Trollope-Bellew (Con - Casewick), responsible for markets in Stamford and Bourne, was highly commended by the National Association of British Market Authorities for keeping markets open safely during the pandemic.
She said: “I was delighted to be nominated, but keeping the markets open has been a fantastic team effort.
"We identified that they were vital to the communities they serve and were also determined to protect the livelihoods of small businesses and traders.
“Our markets have huge community value and provide a welcoming shopping and social environment for residents and visitors alike.
“I was confident that if we provided a safe setting to buy vital fresh food and other essential items the community would support the markets, even in such uncertain times.”
South Kesteven District Council runs four street markets a week across the district – Bourne on Thursdays; Stamford on Fridays and Saturdays; and Grantham on Saturdays.
To open safely and protect visitors, the council's markets team implemented important safety measures:
- Traders were provided with operating advice and hygiene guidance, including limiting customer contact
- Shoppers were guided by signs and marked queueing systems with barriers to maintain social distancing
- Customers were encouraged to use contactless payment
- Traders had to adapt, some by taking orders online and delivering food to customers’ doors, with others advertising online and via social media.
Coun Trollope-Bellew said: “Shoppers praised the council and traders for their professionalism and excellent organisation, while some even said that they were using the markets for the first time.
“Key to the success of keeping our markets open has been the community spirit and mutual respect and responsibility shown by everyone involved.
“Like many other businesses, traders have had a very difficult time and I am delighted that we have been able keep the markets open.”