Greenwich Food Market To Be Given A Month’s Notice To Quit
Good heavens. It would seem that Greenwich Hospital Trust aren’t even bothering to hide that bully’s iron fist of theirs inside a velvet glove any more.
You’d think that with the appeal on their insensitive and intrusive market plans pending, they’d at least be TRYING to get locals on board. But if what I’m told by a local trader in the food market is true – and I have no reason to believe they’d lie over this, GHT appear to be actively engaged on a mission to alienate every man-jack-phantom of us – not to mention a fair few tourists and visitors from the rest of London into the bargain.
My market trader tells me:
“At a routine meeting with the Greenwich Hospital management yesterday, they dropped the bombshell that all the businesses in the food court were being ordered to leave with one month’s notice.”
What the hell are GHT playing at? Are they trying to sabotage Greenwich as an exciting tourist destination? I mean this would be devastating at any time of the year – but in high season?
“The meeting at the Trafalgar Tavern was billed as one of the regular three monthly traders’ meetings that Greenwich Hospital has set up since dismissing the USM management. About fifty traders were present,” my trader tells me. “The first item was the food market, where it was announced that they were reviewing the market’s “A3″ offering.”
“At the end of next week they will be sending out notices to all food traders, giving them one month’s notice to quit,” my trader continues. “The main reason given was that the restaurants and cafes on the island site had complained that the food court was becoming too big and successful and were undermining their own profitability. Additional reasons were cited as Greenwich is “really an arts and crafts market”, some other traders had complained about airborne smell and that Greenwich Borough environmental health was not happy with the present set up.”
Well – there could be some valid points in there, but surely most of these could be worked around. But my trader has very firm ideas about what’s really going on here.
“What’s really at play is that the Hospital generates much more revenue from leasing restaurants than it does from renting out market stalls at £100 for a weekend. Money is the driving factor and giving the visitor what it wants can go hang! “
As a sop to the traders, they are proposing that five hot food stalls will be allowed to trade from inside the former George II premises, meaning that about 20 small businesses will be losing their livelihoods.
I did hear a rumour on the jungle telegraph that certain local restaurants (use your imagination) are refusing to pay rent until something is done about the food court, which would be a powerful additional reason for GHT’s ditching the small guys with their woks, mini-pizza ovens and crepe-irons. After all a vibrant, cheap, varied, innovative and interesting meal on the hoof is probably rather more enticing to a tourist who wants to get the most out of Greenwich in a few short hours than sitting in some bland restaurant and paying substantial prices.
Heaven forbid that GHT would actually want to see the market succeed in its present form.
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