On August 25th it was reported that the Wholesale Markets Association’s chairman Mark Tate, of George Perry fruit and veg, said that the myths busting survey published on the council’s website was flawed. A city council fight-back against so-called “myths” over the threatened closure of Birmingham’s Wholesale Markets was dismissed by as “spin” and details outlined in the document issued by the council are being challenged:
- The council’s myth-busting site said that only 535 people are employed by the markets, but Mr Tate said 1,100 staff are directly employed by traders. “They didn’t even survey the fish or poultry market traders.” In addition, he pointed out, there are extra casual and seasonal staff at peak times like Christmas, the council’s own staff, the coffee shops, the lorry drivers, delivery drivers and all those extra staff who depend on the markets – that’s nearer 4,000.
- The council’s myth-busting site said that the markets are losing £0.8 million and Mr Tate replied that they were making a profit until two years ago. He said: “We have businesses with a total turnover of £275 million a year. If the council is losing money it is because of its mismanagement.”