Warning: The events that follow are all True.
The right to hold markets in the town of Altrincham was originally granted by Royal Charter from King Edward I in 1290. The Council’s market rights were acquired by Deed from the successors in title to the Lords of the Manor to whom the original charter was granted. The charter allowed markets to be held in the town on a Tuesday in each week.
The Charter Rights and statutory rights give the power to stop markets from operating anywhere within a radius of six and two thirds of a mile from any location on which Altrincham Market operates and to require anyone wishing to hold a market to obtain a licence for the market.
Seven centuries later…….
On 29th June 2015 Trafford Council determined that the policy dating back to 1290 be restated. As a consequence, other than the markets recognised by the council at Urmston, Partington and Sale, the assumption is that no new regular markets will be allowed to be established in Trafford except for occasional one-off events.
The policy does not recognise that Stretford ever has had an established market. It certainly doesn't recognise regular car-boot sales or even the Computer Markets that ran for many years at Bowlers. Coming within 6 and three quarter miles of Altrincham, the expectation is that under the new policy these would not be allowed again, regardless of changing fashions.
Clearly the policy is feudal in origin and looks to be feudal in practice.
Labour councillors have called the decision in and thankfully the Conservative Chair of Scrutiny has agreed to the call in. Hopefully we can improve the policy or widen the consultation.