Shabana has written to Birmingham City Council in support of traders at the Birmingham Rag Market.
She was recently contacted by traders with concerns that they were not receiving the full support of the Council.
In her letter to Council Leader, Councillor Ian Ward, Shabana states that the markets will be key to the economic recovery of Birmingham’s retail sector, with retailers bringing more customers back into the city centre.
You can read the letter in full below.
Letter to Birmingham City Council
I am writing regarding the reopening of St Martins Rag Market in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
I understand that you have recently shared correspondence with traders regarding the reopening of the Rag Market, outlining what support is available for traders who operate from the site in the city centre. I have since been contracted by traders who are disappointed with the response provided by Birmingham City Council.
Traders inform me that they are still unsure if Birmingham City Council will award all traders with the discretionary grant funded by central Government. They believe that as the grant funding will not arrive until July, there should be a provision to relieve them of at least one month’s rent on their stalls. In addition, traders inform me that shorter opening hours and limited entrance and exit points to the Rag Market will reduce their custom, and subsequently believe they should be offered further financial support from the Council.
I am sure you will agree that the Birmingham Markets are the lively heart of Birmingham’s retail core, and that they should be fully supported as they tentatively reopen their doors to shoppers. The Rag Market will be key to the economic recovery of Birmingham’s retail sector, with retailers bringing more customers back into the city centre, with appropriate safety measures in place.
I understand that other market sites across the West Midlands have benefitted from rent relief awarded by their local authorities. Whilst I appreciate that Birmingham will have its own unique position, I would urge you to consider any measures that would further support market traders in Birmingham.
Shabana Mahmood MP