People question why Nottingham's Christmas market was allowed to go ahead as closure confirmed

People in Nottingham have questioned why the city's annual Christmas market was allowed to go ahead as it was cancelled after just one day.

It comes as pictures of huge crowds of people descending on Old Market Square on the first day of the market prompted concern among businesses and individuals.

Nottinghamshire is currently under Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions - where markets are permitted to continue trading in Tier 3.

The Christmas market was initially called off for one day while an assessment was made.

But a statement last night said: "Following ongoing meetings, including observing strong city centre footfall again, we have made a joint decision not to reopen Nottingham Christmas Market this year."

The statement added measures had been put in place the ensure the market followed Tier 3 guidance and plans were in place to manage the number of people entering the site at one time and to monitor this, but numbers were "too large to implement these effectively."

It was eventually an increase in people around Old Market Square that led to the early closure on Saturday.

People in the Midlands have reacted to the Christmas market closing on social media.

Susie Savidge wrote: "Should never have opened. You can't see family and friends in their gardens but thousands of people were allowed to not social distance there (on Saturday)."

Jackie Ashurst said: "Well done for closing but should never have opened in the first place - now you have to think about all the traders that have brought stock to sell and have no chance of selling it."

Steven Cave added: "So again a few people spoil it for everyone else. The independent stalls will not be making any money because some people wanted to party."

Lorna Cooper wrote: "I feel sorry for the stall holders but it's the right decision."

And Linda Abson said: "Will never understand why this was given the OK to go ahead when we are under the risk of Covid, never mind what tier people are in."

As well as giving the reasoning behind the closure, the joint statement from Mellors and the city council went on to say: "We know this will be very disappointing for many local people who were looking forward to visiting and for the stallholders, many of them local, for whom this was a vital opportunity to trade in what has been an incredibly difficult year.

"We wanted the market to help support the local economy and bring some festive cheer by bringing people into the city centre in a safe, managed way as part of the reopening of non-essential retail after the national lockdown.

"Public safety and the safety of the stallholders has always been first and foremost in all the decisions we have taken.

"The views being expressed both for and against are very important to us and we have listened carefully. The decision to go ahead with the market was not taken lightly nor has the decision to close.

"We’re sorry it has not worked out."