Charity stalls stopped at Wisbech market

Wisbech Yule Fayre 2014. Picture: Steve Williams.

Wisbech Yule Fayre 2014. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A woman who runs a cat sanctuary says she has been left high and dry after charity stalls were told they could no longer pitch up at Wisbech market.

Lindsay Kierman at her Croft house cat sanctuary. Wisbech.Picture: Steve Williams.

Lindsay Kierman at her Croft house cat sanctuary. Wisbech.Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Lindsay Kierman, who runs Croft House Cat Sanctuary, has a charity stall once a month where she says she makes about £300 that helps pay vet bills.

She said: “I have an average of 30 cats at any one time so you can imagine my bills are quite high. Vets cost on average £400 a month but can be higher. I am given tremendous support with donations of food for the animals but have to buy extra in for the kittens.

“I don’t know how I’m going to make that kind of money now charity stalls have been told they cant have a place on the market. There is the Sunday market but it’s not the same as a prime town centre location.

“I’m happy to pay the stall fee. I don’t expect it free because I’m a charity.”

Lindsay Kierman at her Croft house cat sanctuary. Wisbech.Picture: Steve Williams.

Lindsay Kierman at her Croft house cat sanctuary. Wisbech.Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant


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Unwanted second hand goods are donated to the sanctuary to raise money, she said, and last year she stopped selling second hand DVDs and jewellery after being told it was unfair competition to regular stallholders.

The decision to ban charity stalls came during a meeting of Wisbech town Council markets committee last month.

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A town council spokesman said charity stalls would not be able to trade on regular markets anymore but instead the council would organise special days when they could set up en masse for designated charity days.

“We plan to have extra events and steer the charity sales towards those specific days,” the spokesman said.

Croft house cat sanctuary. Wisbech.Picture: Steve Williams.

Croft house cat sanctuary. Wisbech.Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

“We have to take fairness to everybody- a lot of charity stalls sell new or nearly new items that are sold at prices other market stallholders cannot compete with.”

A spokesman for the National Market Traders Federation said whoever owned the rights to run the market had the authority to decided who could and could not trade.

Most markets set up so that charity stalls could trade once a month, for example and many had limits on the number of charity stalls at each market.

“Decisions are made based on the local needs of the community that they serve,” he said.

A spokesman for the National Association of British Markets said: “Many markets have a policy of allocating to charity stalls on a periodic basis. “Markets can be good places for charity stalls to promote themselves and raise funds.”

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