G7 Summit 2021: Truro's Farmers' market cancelled as site marked for protests

05-05-21- Truro Farmer's Market-
The hope was to use the spotlight the summit has placed on Cornwall to bring in extra business. Credit: ITV News

The organisers of Truro's Farmers' Market have been left disappointed after their biggest event of the year was cancelled because the venue was chosen as a G7 protest spot.

A five-day-long summer market was booked to be held in Truro’s Lemon Quay, the regular spot for the market, from 9-13 June, which would include the G7 weekend.

Market chairman Graham Bradshaw said the idea was to give traders a lift after they have had a "kicking."

But after booking the venue in January, and with 44 traders already lined up, the market was told with a little more than a month to go they could no longer use the site.

The market's chairman says the event's cancellation will have a knock-on effect for locals. Credit: ITV News

Instead, they were offered half of a nearby car park at Garras Wharf. But Mr Bradshaw says with this alternative venue not being good enough, and nowhere else to be found at short notice, the event is as good as dead.

He added: "It’s logistically not right, and with so many protestors expected in the city - it is probably an invitation for customers to stay away.

"It’ll cause a huge crowd, and not everyone will peacefully protest."

As well as this, he said the alternative venue is probably where many customers-to-be would need to park their cars.

Caitlin Walsh, who is a stall-holder at the market, told ITV News: "I did feel quite angry and I felt disappointed. I understand the G7 is to discuss the economy and greener issues which local markets like this one are a big part of."

Chris Hughes, who is also a stall-holder added: "It's a double blow because we just found out Royal Cornwall had been cancelled.

"That was another big market for us and would have been a big event. So to have the five-day market, which we have been organising since Janauary cancelled as well is just a massive blow to us."

Extinction Rebellion in Cornwall has said they do not plan to organise any protest in Truro during the summit in solidarity with those affected by the cancellation of the five-day market.

Two Truro City councillors wrote to the UK Cabinet office on Tuesday 4 May airing their concerns more broadly about Lemon Quay being chosen.

The farmers' market has been a popular attraction for many years. Credit: Cornwall Live

Councillor Stuart Roden wrote: “This is a wholly inappropriate site in the middle of a commercial market town.

"Unless the city centre is put into lockdown it will be impossible to protect residents, shoppers and visitors in the event of any disruption and will place the public at severe risk."

Cllr Roden echoed those sentiments saying the decision is "seriously flawed" and presents a risk to public safety.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Council were asked what their involvement was in the decision to use Lemon Quay.

In response, a spokesperson for the police said: "Devon and Cornwall Police are working closely with partner agencies to ensure people can exercise their right to peaceful protest in relation to the G7 Leader’s Summit in Cornwall next month.

"As part of the planning process, police proposed a number of possible protest sites to partner agencies. The proposed sites were based on a number of criteria including ease of access, impact on local communities and capacity.

"The details of these sites were then discussed between agencies prior to a recommendation being made."

Meanwhile, Cornwall Council said: “As with all aspects of the G7 preparations, we have worked with our colleagues in the police and other organisations on this issue to provide feedback and information wherever relevant.

"The council has been consulted fully throughout the process, and we support the sites chosen as the best available in the circumstances."

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