Market issues to be considered by town council

THE main shopping area in Ponteland was the focus of public question time at a recent town council meeting.

Resident Sheila Campbell asked if the authority could carry out some measures to improve the appearance of Merton Way, which would also help those with market stalls on Fridays.

The council’s environment committee will look into what can be done, although it says the main problem is smaller numbers of people going to the market in recent months.

Mrs Campbell said: “At one time we appeared to have a flourishing farmers’ market on a Friday. Many of the original stallholders seem to have disappeared. Why?

“Can we give some thought to the area designed for the stallholders’ use and make it more exciting and acceptable for buyers and sellers? Wednesday market at Morpeth is an example.

“The face-lift would also be more acceptable throughout the week for Ponteland residents and visitors. Those enjoying refreshments sitting outside the cafe would, I am sure, enjoy an improved view.

“Seats were removed some time ago and no plans were made for their replacement. Does the town council have any proposals for the future of this area?”

In response, Ponteland Mayor Peter Cowey said: “Why have some of the stallholders disappeared? There are not enough people going to the market.

“The environment committee will consider what can be done to make the area more exciting for stallholders, however will that make more people attend?

“Although there are currently no plans to install seats in Merton Way, the committee will look into the matter to see if anything can or should be done.”