A TOWN council has moved to reassure angry traders over concerns about upheaval during the redevelopment of a town square.
In Thursday’s Leader, market traders in Mold slammed a decision to undertake four months of works on Daniel Owen Square in Mold during what they regard as a peak time for shoppers.
Some traders will be forced to move during the period of works.
Work on the £500,000 refurbishment of the square, which will install a performing arts platform as well as electricity and anchor points for market traders, is set to run from July 31 to November 26.
But councillors and Mold’s town centre manager have refuted claims over a lack of communication over the plan and insist the scheme will create an area “to be proud of”.
Mold town centre manager Dave Hill called the square “sub-standard, falling apart, slippery and regularly flooded” and said it in its current form it is “simply not up to scratch”.
“The decision of when this important town centre regeneration project should go ahead has been subject to a great deal of work, particularly by Flintshire Council which has worked closely with the town council,” said Mr Hill.
“The town council is working hard to ensure that Mold maintains its vibrancy and develops for the future as we are extremely concerned that, like many other smaller towns who are struggling much more than Mold, our town will decline.
“Visitors and residents alike look for a quality experience when they visit a town and residents understandably expect to have pride in where they reside. Daniel Owen Square is simply not up to scratch and commensurate with a quality visitor experience.”
Mr Hill also responded to concerns over the timing of the improvements by confirming the funding received from the European Union is to be used solely for the purpose and within an allotted timescale.
While the works take place, market traders will be temporarily moved to nearby Earl Road, King Street and Upper High Street.
But in Thursday’s Leader market traders said they had been told nothing.
Mr Hill said: “Both the town council and Flintshire Council endeavour to value and respect traders in the town, whether they are market stallholders or within our shops.
“All traders and neighbours of the proposed Daniel Owen Square redevelopment were written to by the county council in late March and informed of progress with the project.
“In that letter, they were informed that when a firm date was agreed for the works to start they would be written to again and invited to a meeting to inform them of details of arrangements during the works.
“The commencement date has only been set this week and the county council are now in the process of letting everyone know.”
Mold and Flintshire councillor Robin Guest said he was disappointed by the response from traders.
He said: “This is not a project that has been rushed through. There has been an extensive consultation process.
“I’m not aware that traders had asked for the work to be done at a certain time of year.
“Any large measure of objection would have been taken into account.
“Councillors take very seriously the health of businesses in Mold.
“I hope the attractions the square will bring will be of benefit to all businesses.”
See full story in the Leader