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Haworth split over plan for Christmas market
A row over where a Bradford Council-run Christmas market should be held has split a village.
This year’s Haworth event is due to take place, on Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18, in the park.
But some traders are arguing that it should return to Main Street, where it has been staged for the past three years.
Richard Bailey, who runs the shop Crystals, Myths and Legends, said that in just a week he had collected around 200 signatures from people wanting the market to remain on Main Street.
“I and many others feel Bradford Markets have made a rash decision to move this now major event into the park,” he said.
But trader Glenys Greenwell said people living on the street, backed by some businesses, wanted the event in the park to avoid a repeat of what they describe as disruption and nuisance caused by previous markets. Worth Valley district councillor Glen Miller said: Council officers told him that due to ‘operational reasons’ the market would be in the park.
He said: “Some people will be pleased about that, some will be upset. But what we must remember is that we have residents living here all year round.”
Mr Bailey, who lives in Keighley, has been running his store in Main Street since the summer.
He said: “This market is only two days out of 365. The petition against it being in Main Street said it would cause rats and mice, but how would a market selling non-food products for two days do that? Why not let it be held in Main Street this year, then we can have a civilised discussion about where it should be. The decision has been taken so quickly without any proper thought.”
Mike Hutchinson, who owns a Main Street bed and breakfast, said he felt Bradford Council was “between a rock and a hard place”.
But he also said he would prefer the market to be in Main Street.
“It creates a fantastic atmosphere,” he said. “My worry is that if it doesn’t work out in the park we could lose the market altogether, and it’s a good attraction for Haworth.”
Ms Greenwell, who lives in Main Street and runs a holiday cottage business, said the street was not suitable for the event. She said a petition asking for the market to be shifted was signed by both residents and traders.
She emphasised that residents loved living at the location and supported other celebrations but felt the market was a step too far.
“They’ve had to move their cars for three days, and it’s been chaotic with all these stalls, vans and cars using a road which isn’t wide enough,” she said.
“There’s also been noise from the generators running all day long.”
Coun Miller said he and his fellow councillors received many complaints from residents after last year’s market.
He said: “These ranged from people saying they could not get into their front door, to being fed up with hearing ‘Jingle Bells’ 14 hours a day.”
Bradford Council declined to comment.