Traders at Romford’s Sunday Market have lashed out at Havering Council over plans to stop it.

Romford resident David Long, 58, has been working at Romford Market for around 40 years, most recently operating out of noodle stand Wokabout.

He was joined by fellow trader Lisa Vinton, 55, who runs a fruit and vegetable stand, in criticising the move.

David said: “To be honest with you I think it's disgusting."

He accused the council of not wanting the market, adding: “They don’t want to spend money on this market that’s been here for over 750 years in the heart of this town."

The council revealed plans to make £12m savings, including shutting Romford’s Sunday market, which are being discussed by cabinet members tonight (November 8).

RELATED NEWS: Romford Sunday market axe part of Havering Council cuts plan

Lisa, also of Romford and at the market for at least 40 years, said losing a day’s income would impact her business and staff significantly.

“We’re really unhappy it's closing,” she said. “We will lose a day’s takings and Sundays for us is a very busy day, so that’s going to impact us massively.”

The fruit and veg trader, who feared people would now turn to mainstream shops, added that there is no viable alternative on Sunday, so she would simply stop making money that day.

“I would miss my customers most,” she added. “I’ve got quite close relationships with a lot of them – we’ve seen their kids, their mums and dads, they come as a family.”

This Is Local London: Lisa said she would miss her Sunday customers if the closure plans go aheadLisa said she would miss her Sunday customers if the closure plans go ahead (Image: Ben Lynch)

Commenters reacting to the potential Sunday market closure on Facebook included Kimberley Fraser, who said: “The thing is there isn't much on the market these days and on Sunday there's even less.

“I think rather than stop it whoever is in charge of it need to work on attracting more and better vendors to make it what it once was."

Michael Woodford said: “I will happily see it go. I know it’s been around for many many years, but the fact that everything sold there is available in the shops or online now."

But for David and Lisa, the loss of the Sunday market would mean a day of lost income, increasingly vital given the cost-of-living crisis.

David, a former greengrocer, said he will have to look elsewhere to keep his Sunday trade and to support his current staff, who he feared losing.

“Two staff work for me, and if they go down from four days to three days, the staff may end up looking somewhere else because they need money as well.

“That extra day helps so much for everyone,” he added.

Lisa agreed with David, but said she felt powerless as her fate was not in her hands.

“It will impact us [financially],” she said. “But unfortunately there’s not much we can do about it, we’re just at the council’s mercy.”

A Havering Council spokesperson said: “We are committed to preserving our historic market, but cannot ignore the fact that we have to find a number of savings to help close a £31.2m budget gap.

“The viability of Sunday market has diminished since it was introduced in 2020 and closing it only on the Sunday is likely to save the council in excess of £100,000 per year.

“This is a proposed saving that will be included in our consultation that launches later this week and we encourage everyone to have their say.

“The council will then formally consider these proposals next year at Full Council.”