Cllr Cadogan Enright put a motion before council on Monday Night and supported calls from the Downpatrick Business Forum for Market Street to open for two way traffic with immediate effect. He said that Traders were devastated by the announcement by Down District Council’s economic and cultural development director Sharon O’Connor that the resumption of normal trading and traffic patterns would not happen at the end of July, but has been postponed to the 13th September.
Councillor Cadogan Enright said, “If you go up to Royal Avenue in Belfast you will see their Street improvement scheme being carried out on Sundays. All this week there was only one building worker on Market Street doing some pavement work at the Ulster Bank corner with Irish Street. Traffic does not need to be diverted for this sort of work. All the major work has long-since finished and there is only a bit of tidying up to do”.
Business Forum chairman Patrick Cassidy said that “business is severely impaired at the moment with a huge reduction in footfall on Market Street. There can be no excuse for putting back the date of re-opening of the Street”.
Business Forum secretary Tracy Quail said this has been going on too long, and the remaining work could easily be carried out on a single Sunday, the Street should open forthwith.”
In putting a motion before Council at the behest of Traders, Cllr Enright sought council logistical support in making a claim for rates relief to the Regional Rates Authority. No Trader has ever succeeded in making a claim under this scheme which is supposed to give up to a years rates rebate in the event of an uninsurable risk not arising from normal competition damaging trade. Cllr Enright said “The Hardship Relief Scheme in NI has become moribund and ineffective as the Regional Rates Authority is interpreting ‘normal business risk’ so broadly as to make any claim under its provisions impossible. The council must write to the Minster to make the interpretation of the rules more realistic”
“I am also campaigning for the immediate resumption of two way traffic and normal working, as this is the peak trading period for Market Street Traders”. The partial closure of Market Street has been added to by works in Knocknashinna, Saul Street and elsewhere around the town and the combined effect is devastating” Concluded Cadogan Enright
Green Party leaflet for local traders in Market Street Click this DOC to view the leaflet produced by Cllr Enright which gives an update on the Market Street campaign