TRADERS in Winsford Market are incensed over cuts in their toilet provision.

A portacabin with full facilities was taken away today and replaced by two portable toilets.

Angry stallholders say they have not been consulted and only found out about the reduction in services by letter.

Traders say they feel 'abandoned' by Cheshire West and Chester Council and fear further cutbacks could put their livelihoods at risk. Opening hours on Monday, Thursday and Saturday have already been cut back.

Julie Hodkinson, whose family business Julie Clare Schoolwear has traded in the market for 50 years, said: "I think it's disgusting.

"We feel neglected. They say they are closing our toilets to save money. We are all very annoyed.

"We're trying to earn a living.

Winsford Guardian:

Traders at Winsford Market are incensed over the loss of their portacabin toilets

"They seem to be spending money on Chester Market but ignoring us. We're paying rent and getting nothing back."

Her mum Jenn Hodkinson, 78, said: "It's a disgrace just leaving us with portable toilets.

"I love working on the market. I've been doing it for over 50 years. We've got a great lot of people and customers who've been coming to us since their kids were little.

"They seem to have forgotten about our market. No-one talks to us and if we have a problem we can't get it sorted.

"They should invest a bit of money and promote it."

Greengrocer Robert Althorp gets up at 3am every day to stock his stall with fresh fruit and vegetables and has been trading for 40 years.

Winsford Guardian:

Greengrocer Robert Althorp, 80, gets up at 3am every day to stock his stall on Winsford Market with fresh fruit and vegetables

The 80-year-old said: "I think it's absolutely crazy. I have three women who are very fastidious about hygiene and are not very impressed. It is essential that we have proper clean toilet facilities.

"I like my job but we're not going to put up with these conditions.

"I'd like to see them develop a new market with refrigeration. That way we could get butchers, fish, delis and more food stalls."

CWAC says two portable toilets will be provided when the market is open for traders and staff only and serviced weekly.

Cllr Richard Beacham, CWAC cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Winsford Market is really important to the council. We recognise that it is not currently operating at full capacity but we want to work together with traders to resolve this and ideally attract more stallholders which will help us meet our operating costs.

“The new toilet provision will ensure that traders and staff still have facilities to use, but our primary focus needs to be about encouraging more people in Winsford to support local businesses by coming to spend a few pounds in their local market.

“The council is currently asking residents for their thoughts on the regeneration plans for Winsford town centre and we are working hard to create a masterplan that will revitalise the market and the wider town centre for future generations.”