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South Shields premier political blog

Making a donkey’s ass of the law.

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donkeyProtectionism and other anachronisms

Do you know they are still facing legal difficulties in setting up a market in Sunderland? A 600-year-old law bans anyone from holding a market within six and two-thirds miles of the market in South Shields. Under the terms of the ruling, a market operator can object to the establishment of a rival venture anywhere within the distance a trader or mule could reasonably be expected to walk each way.In the past South Tyneside Council has used global satellite positioning equipment to block markets and car boot sales at Wessington Way, Sunderland Greyhound Stadium and even in North Shields.

It smacks of old fashioned protectionism, does little to encourage competition and takes no account of modern day transport methods. We can be 7 miles away from South Shields in a matter of minutes by bus, Metro, bicycle or car.

It really wouldn’t bother me too much if a rival market was operating in Sunderland on a Sunday, or any other day for that matter. Sometimes I feel we just have to move with the times a bit, I wonder what other readers think? Should our markets continue to be protected from competition?

Ellee Seymour has examples of other anachronistic laws on her blog, do you know it’s illegal to die in The Houses of Parliament?

Written by curly

November 7, 2007 at 6:31 am

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