Cost of Warwick Mop Fairs

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Sweet shop owner Nigel Ackroyd has been left with a sour taste in his mouth after the recent two weekends of Mop Fairs.

Mr Ackroyd’s half-timbered Sweet Emporium in Market Place, Warwick, was not only completely obscured by three of the large fair vans parked directly in front of his window...but two of the drivers then went into direct competition selling nougat, coconut ice and cinder toffee.

He said: “As a result my takings were down by 60 per cent on each of the two Saturdays the Mop was here. I pay rent, rates and income tax and all I ask is that everyone does the same and doesn’t jeopardise the fragile independent trading infrastructure of our town.

“The Mop organisers could have put a kiddies’ ride in front of me instead of completely blocking me out. Some eighty per cent of town traders were against the renewal of its licence in the middle of town.”

One or two shops closed during the weekend fairs with owners saying they know from past experience that they will do little business. Others have asked trading standards officers to check the newcomers’ unclear pricing displays.

Mr Ackroyd added: “All we ask is for a level playing field.”