Reining in the horse arguments

Sam, Chesterfield Market Horse.
Sam, Chesterfield Market Horse.

As a long-standing market trader at Chesterfield, I feel it necessary to voice my opinion with regards the market horse and cart and its withdrawal from service.

The service is solely paid for from the rental income of market stalls, it is not paid for through residents’ council tax.

As such, I feel strongly that our money is used wisely, paying for a service that simply does not deliver is not acceptable.

The horse and cart’s original role back in the 80s was to collect and transport waste generated on the market. Due to health and safety guidelines this ceased many years ago as its handler needed to have control of the horse at all times, thus being prevented from collecting waste.

His role then simply was to stand on the market as an “attraction”, not bad for £110 a day!

We already have an electric cart and operative servicing the waste collection needs of the market, so the green side of the argument doesn’t stand up.

The council has agree to allow the annual saving of around £11,000 to be retained and used as a way of funding a permanent week’s holiday for all licensed traders and this is the kind of support the traders need.

It’s a hard life on the market and we need all the help we can get.

Along with the rent freeze this year, it shows the council’s determination to support us, I only hope the public do as well and support us by shopping with us.

From my understanding, Ben the horse will go into retirement and be cared for by Sonny, his former handler, who retired last summer.

Paul Hind

President, Chesterfield branch, National Market Trader Foundation