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Gazebo takes flight

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: October 16, 2013

The 'runaway' market stall

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CONCERN has been raised for the safety of shoppers in Leek after a market stall was caught in a gust of wind and went 'flying' down a town centre street.

The incident happened at around 4pm on Wednesday (October 2) when council contractors were taking down the day's market stalls.

Businessman Keith Montgomery, who runs Monty's Fish and Chip shop in the Market Place, said: "The new green and white "gazebos" look very good but there is obviously a safety issue, as demonstrated on Wednesday last week.

"As the market stalls were being taken down at about 4pm a gust of wind lifted one of the gazebos from outside Thorntons and deposited it, in a crumpled heap, outside Co-Op Travel.

"It's fortunate it didn't happen mid-day when pedestrian traffic was at it's highest.

“The council really needs to address this. Should anyone be injured in future, they can't say they weren't warned. Perhaps a more detailed risk assessment is required."

A spokesperson for Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said: "In all our markets the safety of traders and the public is paramount. We have agreed with our suppliers that the Leek Market pop-up stalls will be provided with further weights on the feet of the stalls and, where stalls are erected together in rows, strong cable ties will be placed around the uprights locking them together for greater strength.

"We also monitor the weather forecasts so that we can assess any risk and take appropriate action and we will be asking traders to remove the back and side sheets when they have finished trading to further reduce any risk from gusts."

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