Crouch end is crying out for a real farmers' market

I would like to correct an apparently small error, which in fact is important to understanding the issues involved (Local traders are greener than the rest, H&H Broadway May 7). Your reporter announces a forthcoming open meeting hosted by Muswell Hill and

I would like to correct an apparently small error, which in fact is important to understanding the issues involved (Local traders are greener than the rest, H&H Broadway May 7).

Your reporter announces a forthcoming open meeting hosted by Muswell Hill and Hornsey Friends of the Earth. I was invited to talk about farmers' markets in the context of saving small independent shops, 'keeping it local' and helping the environment.

The reporter is not to blame for the mistake of identifying me with the Farmers' Market in Muswell Hill - I was away when she tried to contact me.

I have nothing to do with the market at Alexandra Palace. On the contrary, I have been campaigning for nearly 10 years for a real 'certified' farmers' market, every Saturday, in the forecourt of Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End, for which there is overwhelming local support, and for which planning permission was granted in 2003 for a six-month trial.


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'Certified' means that the organisers operate according to a strict set of local-only and producer-only rules. Ally Pally is a lovely market but mis-named, which causes confusion - there's room for both.

A few shopkeepers still believe it would destroy their business, despite extremely strong evidence that the opposite is the case: it would keep local residents shopping in the town centre rather than them driving out to big supermarkets.

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This evidence is from the New Economics Foundation, which champions small independent shops and campaigns against PO closures, clone and ghost towns.

We are baffled by the council's reluctance to accept the offer of a professionally-run market of the kind many neighbourhhoods are begging for. Can anyone explain why?

Jo Foster

Mount View Road, N4

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