Market traders in Croydon will have to pay up to 30 per cent more to operate at Surrey Street Market.

Stall holders unhappy with the price hike which was given the green light by Croydon Council’s last week.

Justin Gailius said he understands why the increase is coming in but said he thinks the council should have waited for businesses to recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

He runs Just in Time Coffee and will see his daily licence fee increase from £15 to £20, a 30 per cent increase.

Your Local Guardian: Jose Joseph has run a fruit and veg stall at Surrey Street Market for 15 yearsJose Joseph has run a fruit and veg stall at Surrey Street Market for 15 years

The trader said, who set up his business just over a year ago, said: “The council’s email explained that they are spending more on managing the market than they are getting.

“I wouldn’t mind as much if this was normal times – £5 a day comes to £30 a week for me, it is a lot.”

In a report, the council states that the fees have not increased since 2006 and  claim this doesn’t cover the costs of the market, including street cleaning, rubbish collection and administration for licences.

The report states that the current cost to the council is £205,416 a year compared to the current income of £161,2589.

Based on the current numbers of 17 permanent traders and eight casual traders, working on average three days a week, the new income would be £205,207.

Donald Mitchell runs food stall Yard Food and pays a weekly fee of £75 which will go up to £95.

He said: “It is ridiculous, it is a big massive impact for me, £5 a day is £35 a week for me.

“We are trading less at the moment and Croydon Council don’t do anything to help us, they are ripping us off. It is not like before when we had all the office workers coming, it has been hard, takings are down.”

Donald says that before the pandemic he was making £300 a day and this is now down to £150, which doesn’t come to much once he takes off the cost of ingredients.

“I think they should have waited to see if business has gone up and then do a survey,” he said.

“This is the time they choose to put the prices up? Thar’s just crafty.”

Further down Surrey Street us Jose Joseph who has run Joseph’s Veg for the past 15 years.

He was angry about the price increase and claims that the council does not support the historic market which has been trading since 1276.

“The council have a policy to support small business, but this is a huge increase,” he said.

“I think many traders might stop coming here, the newcomers won’t come they will go somewhere else.

“There isn’t much footfall I think the council needs to do more to promote the market.”

The increase was approved by the council’s licensing committee on July 15 with eight votes in favour three against and one abstention.

At the meeting Councillor Andy Stranack said he would prefer to see a staggered increase.

Michael Goddard, Croydon Council’s head of licensing, said at the meeting: “The fees were last set in 2006, they haven’t gone up but the costs have gone up.

“The council has been effectively carrying the burden of cost against less income for a while, so now a decision has been taken that we’ve reviewed the fees.”