Weather Icon 8.7°C Overcast
Save Our Market!
Thursday 17th July 2014 @ 16:03 by Max Wieland
Ashton Mossley & Saddleworth News
 The battle to save Mossley Market exploded into the heart of Tameside as hundreds of people voiced their anger on the steps of Ashton Town Hall.
PROTEST: Mossley residents descend on Ashton Town Hall steps to voice their concerns about the future of Mossley Market Ground.

PROTEST: Mossley residents descend on Ashton Town Hall steps to voice their concerns about the future of Mossley Market Ground.

The stunt came amid fears that the Mossley site will be sold off by Tameside Council to make way for a superstore.
More than 150 angry Mossley residents descended on Ashton on Saturday in what has been labelled as “a commanding show of Mossley’s community spirit and solidarity” by Paul Dowthwaite, chairman of campaign group Save Our Community Space (SOCS).

Mr Dowthwaite, former chairman of Mossley District Assembly, added: “We were very well received by the folk in Ashton with lots of signatures added to our petition. People do seem to be realising that this could happen in their towns.
“We need Tameside Council to agree that, regardless of budget constraints, each town must have a civic or community space protected for future generations and that our space in Mossley is our market ground.”
Saturday’s flash mob protest follows previous stunts and meetings in Mossley and marked the first time that the campaign group had ventured so close to the Tameside Council offices.
SOCS received more than 3,000 signatures condemning the plans and the group’s protest last weekend is hoped by campaigners to be further proof the civic space is not for sale.
“We’re hoping that our protest and feelings we have in the town are so widely held that the council will realise it’s our civic space and that it is special,” said Mr Dowthwaite.Tameside Council Executive Leader Cllr Kieran Quinn, who has previously spoke of the struggles the council faces due to Government cuts, said: “We have never had any plans to sell Mossley Market Ground, but following the raising of the profile of the market in the media, some initial interest has come from a couple of supermarkets.

“We have not progressed those discussions at this stage because we have agreed to accept an application from the Town Council to list the market as a community asset, which will allow them to bid for the site.

SOCS CHAIR: Paul Dowthwaite.

SOCS CHAIR: Paul Dowthwaite.

“However, this in no way restricts who we talk to regarding the future of this or any site because we have a duty to all residents to get best value for council assets and reduce the costs of them to taxpayers. Our approach demonstrates that we are always willing to listen to our residents when making these difficult choices.”