A WEEKLY market in Havelock Square, scheduled to take place today has been cancelled after Swindon Council voted to enforce its existing ban on street trading in the area.

InSwindon, the town centre management firm, set up the Thursday market last month, in a bid to increase footfall for existing businesses, who fund the firm through a levy on business rates.

The council’s planning committee was told on Tuesday the organisation had gained planning permission, but licensing officers were not approached and the market was technically illegal, because Havelock Street was a prohibited area for street trading.

After a debate, the committee agreed to reinforce the ban and talk to InSwindon after today’s market to encourage it to relocate to a legitimate site, with Wharf Green being the best option until the ban can be reviewed.

Councillors did not intend the market would come to a halt, but expected it would continue from Havelock Square today and relocate elsewhere in subsequent weeks.

However, InSwindon chief executive Simon Jackson, said in a statement: "We were unaware we were acting illegally and it has never been our intention to do so, as far as our knowledge of the situation was concerned we had sought the relevant permission which enabled us to go ahead.

“In light of Tuesday’s meeting, and without the ability to move the market to another location due to other events and activities, I have made the decision to cancel the weekly Swindon town centre market.

“This decision has been made until such time that we and Swindon Borough Council are comfortable that we are acting within the guidelines.”