‘Nothing borough could do to prevent death fall’ – Market traders’ group takes stallholders to task over car park criticisms

The St George's Way car park

The St George's Way car park - Credit: Archant

The group representing Stevenage Indoor Market traders has slammed comments made by two stallholders demanding improvements to security at a multi-storey car park after a man fell to his death.

Dave Henderson

Dave Henderson - Credit: Archant

A 43-year-old man plunged from the roof of the building which houses the market after climbing to the top of the St George’s Way car park during trading hours on June 8.

Traders James Waterman and Narrinder Kumar said Stevenage Borough Council, which owns the building, should take urgent action to review security and criticised the council for introducing robust health and safety measures for the market while failing to tighten security in the car park.

But Dave Henderson from the Stevenage Market Traders Association said: “Of course we were concerned and saddened by the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of a man, but for it to be used as a platform to target the council for not having ample security and safety measures in place was an insult and the record needs to be set straight.

“The comments made by the two stallholders were not representative of the majority of traders, although customer safety, as always, is paramount to all of us.”

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Mr Henderson defended the car park’s CCTV system – which the two traders had called ‘pathetic’ – and said measures to restrict how stallholders display goods by painting grey lines on the market floors was demanded by fire and safety officers.

He added: “Any claim that the council does not care about the building is ridiculous.

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“I have been trading here since 1973 and the council has always maintained a high standard of care and refurbishment throughout my time.

“It is important to praise the council for its tireless work in order to provide a retail outlet so necessary to the consumers of Stevenage.

“Sadly, tragic events are often beyond the control of any restrictions and safety measures.

“This particular incident shocked all of us and we forward our sincere sympathies to the man’s family and friends.”

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