FRUSTRATED shoppers have called for their town’s outdoor market to stay open all year so stallholders can make a living during the winter months.

Walton Market, which pitches up in the town’s Millennium Square, officially runs between April and December every year.

Frinton and Walton Town Council rents the land from Tendring Council and is allowed to use the space all year round.

However, the town council only permits sellers to use it for eight months of the year.

Belinda Tinkler, from Walton, often purchases produce from a fruit and vegetable seller, who has supplied residents with fresh food for about 30 years.

She believes the market stalwart and other salespeople should be allowed to trade all year round.

“I think they are hardworking and decent men who need to work 12 months of the year,” she said.

“Other markets are open all year, so why not Walton? The town is on its knees and needs all the help it can get to get through the winter months.

“By having the market running, it encourages people to shop locally. If these men are willing to stand out in all weathers, good luck to them.”

The issues was raised after a stallholder pitched up in the square, but was told to move on by a representative of Frinton and Walton Town Council.

A spokesman for the council said a decision to close the market during the winter was made in November 2018.

The spokesman said: “The council has decided for the last two years to shut the market for the winter months as only one or two stallholders turn up.

“During the summer there is an average of 16 stalls there each week.

“The council already loses money on the market, but opening up for one or two stallholders in the winter would increase the loss considerably.

“The stall-holder not only knew he was not supposed to be there in winter, he actually recommended the closure of the market in winter as he could not earn a living opening his stall in the winter.

“This is because fewer people are around when it is cold. However, the milder weather obviously prompted him to set up without telling the council.”