FUNDING for a monthly farmers’ market in Burnham has been axed by town councillors this week over fears of competition against High Street traders.

Somerset Farmers Markets has received £1,000 for the last four years, but the council agreed at its monthly meeting not to give a reduced grant of £500.

Cllr Helen Groves added: “It’s in direct competition with many traders, whom we are not subsidising. There is no provable benefit to the people in the town.

“Our primary duty has to be how that we spend money for the wider benefit of the community.”

Somerset Farmers Markets coordinator Louise Hall said they had appreciated the council’s support in the past and they hoped to continue to trade in the town.

She said: “We have always tried to be as sensitive as possible to other traders in the town, for example, there’s a fishmonger shop and we don’t invite others to the market. We would like to think we were supporting the High Street by being there.”

Ian Kean, owner of Truckles Farm Shop, said: “We are happy with the success of our shop, in its fourth year of trading, and I don’t think the market affected us that much. However, I suppose if it wasn’t there, trade would be a little bit better.

“I think it’s unfair that we are asked to pay very strong rates for the privilege of being in the High Street and a market gets to trade for next to nothing.”

Julie Dean, owner of florist Flowers and Things, said: “I have mixed views. It takes some business from other businesses, but it also brings extra people in. Sometimes there have been people selling plants, so it has a knock-on effect on my business.”