Medway Labour and Co-operative Councillors are extremely disappointed to find out that Strood Market has been closed.
The Conservative leadership of Medway Council has closed the long running Strood Market citing viability issues. It had been hoped that the Tuesday market would be re-opening in line with the COVID 19 social distancing guidance.
Strood Market, much used & loved, was operating on both a Saturday & Tuesday from Commercial Road car park until the first stage of the recently completed Strood Town Centre regeneration project.
The arguments used by the council to justify closure are not convincing. At a time when the local economy needs all the support possible, to close a much-loved community asset like Strood Market shows their lack of regard for all high streets and town centres across Medway.
It is also worth noting that the closure of the market fits into a pattern of using the council’s assets for
development opportunities. The council recently agreed a Local Plan supporting document ‘Strood Town Centre Masterplan’. That document shows Commercial Road car park as key development site for retail, commercial offices, etc.
Cllr Stephen Hubbard, Medway Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Strood North said:
“Some fifteen years ago Strood Market was first threatened with closure. The market was then located on the site that is today occupied by Aldi. The Labour team, including myself, voiced opposition to the closure and successfully advocated that the council should allow the market to move to one of its car parks. Closing the market is a true loss for our Strood community. As well as a place to shop, a market is a place to meet up with friends and go on for a coffee.”
Cllr Andy Stamp, Medway Labour & Co-operative Spokesperson for Regeneration and Communities
“This is a completely retrograde step from Medway Council. At a time when Medway is wanting to encourage local businesses, particularly in the recovery phase from CoVid19, to take away an opportunity for new business start ups having a place to trade on the west side of the River Medway seems wrong. As a Gillingham Councillor I know how much the market in Gillingham is valued by both residents and traders.
I would urge the council to reconsider this decision.”