THE Maylands Hawkers Markets has been put on ice by Bayswater city council, leaving locals fuming.
Despite a committee recommendation to approve an extension, the council voted Tuesday to defer a decision until August. Mayor Sylvan Albert cast the deciding vote.
Catherine Ehrhardt, who runs a group planning to take the markets over from the local Lions club, says the decision makes it all-but impossible for her to get the markets running again before the lucrative pre-Christmas period.
“We needed the council to approve in order to start building sponsorship,” she says.
“We can’t start applying for grants without knowing for sure when or if the proposal will actually go ahead.”
Ms Ehrhardt says she’s now approaching other councils and if any show more commitment than Bayswater, she’ll move the markets. “It’s a real shame, because since when was adding vibrancy into a community a negative thing? It would have been an all inclusive and positive thing for the community as well as the shire.”
The markets were held in the open space between The Rise and Maylands Hall, but the council is worried about parking. Ms Ehrhardt says that’s a red herring: “The majority of our market-goers are either walkers or riders. It forces me to think there’s an added agenda.”
The markets’ Facebook site was overrun by disgruntled locals following the decision, expressing anger at Mayor Albert. Many said they would vote for a new council at the October election. “We should band together and vote in councillors/mayors who aren’t anti their own community,” posted Chris Manos.
by ASHLEIGH SCAIFE