NMTF message to council bosses attracts national media

THE NMTF’s appeal to all local councils in England and Wales to consider keeping their markets open for essential goods such as food and groceries has attracted national media attention.

The BBC’s flagship Radio 4 Today programme was keen to do a follow-up.

The result was a balanced piece by correspondent Ross Hawkins that highlighted the anomalies — some markets closed, others partially open, and looking at the reasoning behind decisions made.

Ross interviewed NMTF CEO Joe Harrison, who sent the email to more than 800 local authority chief executives and leaders.

Joe said these were desperate times for small businesses, adding that he knew of markets where the managers wanted to keep them open but the councillors had refused.

NMTF member Taran Catley and his family have a large butchery business. Interviewed at his warehouse in Frome where his products would usually go out to markets across the south of England Taran described the situation as “immensely frustrating” when his company could not trade in most market locations but supermarkets could.

To balance the piece the  Today programme looked at St Albans market in Hertfordshire where the outdoor market has been kept open for essentials.

The rules regarding social distancing are being stricly enforced — by traffic wardens.

To hear the Today programme click here. The piece is at 7.17am.