Wards Corner (1)

MQT on 2008-11-12
Session date: 
November 12, 2008
Question By: 
Darren Johnson
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Is your current position on Wards Corner consistent with your vision of protecting London's street markets?


Answer for Wards Corner (1)

Answer for Wards Corner (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

It is a question from Darren and it is absolutely right and I am delighted to see the supporters of Wards Corner here. I see the whole gang here. You are asking, Darren, whether my position on Wards Corner is consistent with my vision of protecting London's street markets.

I have to say this has been not easy because when I went to Wards Corner I saw the wonderful market that is there and I talked to the stallholders and I did form a determination to try to save it. I do think that we have done as much as we can at the moment to make sure there is going to be a future for the stalls. The development will go ahead or at least I have not opposed the development - I have opposed various aspects of it and it has been substantially upgraded. I thought it did not have some of the attractions it might have had and this is going to be a potentially amazing site. I thought it could have been a more imaginative architectural solution and I certainly made that point, but we have successfully insisted that there should be not just a small retail space but also space for market kiosks within the new development so that there is an indoor market hall available for stallholders. I know that that will not necessarily please everybody.

All I can say is, talking to Haringey, it was very, very much the will of the Council that this development should go ahead. Local people wanted access to other types of shops as well. What we are trying to do is to try to make sure that we can have the best of both worlds, as it were, by having the market solution within the development.

Darren Johnson (Deputy Chair): I do ask you to think again because I want you to understand that bulldozing a historic community and just sticking in an identikit high street and then putting in a few token market stalls, that is not protecting a market, that is not listening to the local community. I do urge you to think again.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I just want to address the word historic because it is an interesting choice of word in this context. The reality is that although it is a wonderful market it is not, I think, by any stretch of the imagination historic. It has not been there --

Darren Johnson (Deputy Chair): The buildings.

Jennette Arnold (Chair): The last sentence on this, Mr Mayor.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): My colleague, John Biggs, says the market has been there for 1,000 years; it has actually been there for a few years. As I recollect it came from Elephant & Castle quite recently.

Darren Johnson (Deputy Chair): The buildings are historic as well.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Some stallholders came from Elephant & Castle.

Darren Johnson (AM): Do not demolish it. Do not demolish it.

Jennette Arnold (Chair): We are out of time. Thank you, Mr Mayor, for your answers to the questions today. Thanks to the members of public who have stayed with us to this time.