CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a long-running market descended on a council meeting in their droves to ensure their voices were heard and their strength of feeling was felt. 

Residents and shoppers have been left "furious" after plans to axe Walton Market, which takes place at the town’s Millennium Square on Thursdays and bank holiday Mondays, were revealed.

Frinton and Walton Town Council, which stepped in to save the market in 2007, leases the Tendring Council-owned car park for the market to take place, but councillors have decided to pull the plug at the end of March when the current lease expires.

Since then residents have grouped together in a bid to save the traditional event.

On Thursday night, more than 50 campaigners attended this month's Frinton and Walton Town Council meeting to have their say.

Before the meeting began, 'Save Walton Market' pin badges were given out to every person who walked through the doors, with almost all accepting. 

The number of people supporting the market was overwhelming as the council room met its limit of 50 people inside, requiring some residents to stand in the hallway. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Upset - Waltonians angry after the council meetingUpset - Waltonians angry after the council meeting (Image: Grace Capel)
In the 15-minute time set aside during the start of the meeting to discuss the issue, the campaigners asked questions and expressed their disgust with the decision to stop the market after 52 years.

Read More: Shoppers and traders 'furious' over plan to axe Walton market

Concerns were raised about the lack of advertising and lack of communication with both traders and shoppers, while they also expressed a desire to keep the market going.

One market supporter said: "Best value isn't always monetary. It's about what is good for the area, what is good for the public, what is good for the town and what is good for the people. The market is good for our town."

She then asked the council how much profit the Columbine Centre, post office and the market make, to which the mayor confirmed they all make a loss. 

A councillor replied: "The Columbine Centre is open all day every day, the post office is open six days a week and the market is only open for four to six hours, one day a week.

"So best value is what is serving the public more. These people who use the market are most likely also using the Columbine and post office."

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Important - The Frinton and Walton town council buildingImportant - The Frinton and Walton town council building (Image: Newsquest)

Many residents, however, left the meeting disgruntled, feeling like their questions had not been properly answered, nor their concerns listened to. 

Victoria Godfrey-Bonnici, leader of the Walton Action Market Group, said: "We're looking to arrange some meetings once the stallholders get back from their breaks and plan the next steps."

Victoria's petition to save Walton Market has been signed by almost 800 people online and more than 200 people in person. 

She said: "Let's stand together for what makes Walton-on-the-Naze special - its sense of community, its support for small businesses, and its respect for tradition.

"We urge you to sign this petition today and help save Walton's historic weekly market from closure."

To sign the petition go to