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To: Westminster City Council


Stop the privatisation and keep our much loved Berwick Street Market Independent.

Why is this important?

Berwick Street Market has been independent for 300 years yet Westminster City Council has decided to privatise it with barely any consultation - It's all happening behind the scenes - private operators are already in the tender process and traders’ licences have been terminated without warning.

These licences are peoples livelihoods, businesses and relationships, and belong to traders who are part of Soho's history and culture. Berwick Street Market is now the frontline of the relentless cleansing of Soho. @BerW1ckStMarket

Berwick Street Market, Berwick Street, London

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2017-10-13 17:59:06 +0100

Please sign Coach & Horses petition to make developers and big firms compensate small businesses for the loss of trade caused by works. It is obvious to anyone experiencing large scale development that you will lose 30-50% of your trade and that your business may close as a consequence. This should be factored in to the development cost. We are losing businesses across soho because no one is compensating small firms for their losses. The rates mechanism does not work. Time for a change.

2017-06-26 06:10:54 +0100

#crowdfunding #BerwickStMarket #Soho Independent for 330 years_thank you for helping keep it that way @Spacehive

2017-06-16 19:43:03 +0100

Our Mayor backed #crowdfunding program to bring #BerwickStMarket back to health is now live_join us if you can please #Soho

2017-06-04 16:42:22 +0100

Soho survey extended to 7th June just for you. x

2017-05-27 11:51:31 +0100

Please stop redeveloper’s application and cradle the small businesses of Shepherd’s Bush Market

2017-05-26 15:46:38 +0100

Last chance for you to say that you'd love Soho to remain a cultural community rippling with small indy businesses and creative people in the Plan for Soho

2017-05-18 11:21:43 +0100

This is a very important Soho Survey, please have a look and express your view so that it is included in the Plan for Soho

2017-04-26 16:07:54 +0100

We need your help (yes, again). The Soho Neighbourhood Forum has established a number of key ‘priority areas’ determined through a public consultation, the 2016 ‘Soho Survey’, in which over 990 responses were gathered. The highest priority identified overall was to protect and promote Soho’s culture and heritage, with issues including protecting Soho’s creative industries, improving Soho’s air quality, developing social housing and ensuring developments reflect Soho’s scale and style of building receiving strong support. Since September 2016 Policy Development Teams have used the 2016 survey results as a foundation for their work and now we would like your help in shaping the plan: tell us what you think. Please complete this survey - you can spend 5 minutes or as long as you want...

2017-04-26 13:26:07 +0100

It was always our ambition for the energy that went into saving Berwick Street Market to make a wider impact. Hope you agree, this will do: Mayor Sadiq Khan recruits team of experts to protect London's 'important' street markets.

2017-04-26 13:19:48 +0100

This is the first permanent licence to be issued on Berwick Street for 10 years_ there are 7 more to follow today

2017-03-30 14:55:13 +0100

Letter to Ed Watson from Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg With the current temporary licences due to run out on 31st March, I insist that you deal with the traders' licence applications without further delay.

2017-03-30 14:51:47 +0100

Please email Hick, Rosalind and Watson, Ed re: BSTS: ‘permanent’ licence application delay - and ask them to issue traders with permanent licences, you may just save the campaigning traders of Berwick Street

2017-03-21 22:25:30 +0000

IT'S OVER! Thank you for your support via @UKChange

2017-03-21 13:59:36 +0000

It's over. The privatisation has been called off. This is good news for Berwick Street Market and great news for central London markets who will not have to go through the sheer hell of the last year. Thank you so much for your support, it has been an amazing journey.

2017-03-21 07:00:14 +0000

11 days left on Berwick Street Market traders licences and still nothing from Westminster...

2017-03-19 20:41:05 +0000

Formal Complaint from Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg to Charlie Parker CEO Westminster City Council

2017-03-19 19:01:10 +0000

@BerW1ckStMarket Just 2 weeks left on our trading licences which expire on the 31st March 2017_ no information coming from @CityWestminster we have lobbied all ward councillors hard only one is vocal @westend_one the others have fallen silent or been silenced, we've applied for permanent licences but WCC haven't responded to calls/emails for 3Wks, we've raised a 37000 petition online and offline_it has been swept aside, we've taken legal advice & expert opinion_we're acting on it @eugeneoregan to protect and revive "The most fabulous square mile in the world." Take a walk around the street markets of Soho...

2017-03-05 13:47:28 +0000

7 traders have applied for permanent licences. No permanent licences have been issued on Berwick Street for 10 years. Wish us luck.

2017-02-27 08:20:20 +0000

The procurement process completed on 20th February 2017 and was meant to be followed by a meeting with traders 23rd February. It didn't happen. We have had no reply to our Freedom of Information requests as yet. No doubt there will be news this #Limbo

2017-02-12 12:11:19 +0000

In a moment of light relief, traders celebrate Rina Rottondo's 91st birthday at The Ivy Soho Brasserie. Rina is Berwick Street Market longest living customer. At the age of 91 Rina still makes daily visits to the market to buy milk and flowers. The Ivy was delighted to provide a lunch for Rina and her guests on their opening night, 7th February 2017. Rina and traders are now planning her 92nd birthday. Where next?

2017-02-12 11:56:05 +0000

In the last two weeks four traders have crashed out of the market losing money. We have taken legal advice from a specialist barrister who has focussed on a review conducted by Westminster City Council prior to the privatisation announcement. We have also gained the support of a trader who lived (and died) through the redevelopment of Kings Cross. Information requests and clarifications are with Westminster...

2017-01-26 16:41:17 +0000

All tenders for Berwick Street Market are now in, the window for clarifications has closed. Westminster City Council will now ruminate. Wait. At a WCC meeting last night there was a reshuffle, Cllr Daniel Astaire is no longer responsible for Berwick Street Market, Robert Davis has taken that responsibility.

2017-01-26 16:31:28 +0000

Westminster City Council have rejected the application to list Berwick Street Market as an Asset of Community Value, because Berwick Street is a Highway. We will appeal.

2017-01-26 16:26:19 +0000

3 "permanent" traders will lose their parking spots due to the development scaffolding and portacabin installations at and around Berwick Street Market. When that happens they will not be able to trade. Beefy, Jimma and Laecia. As reported on ITV London News, Beefy has already been hit, Jimma and Laecia are next. These are the longest serving Fruit, Veg and Flowers traders. It's obscene. We have requested permits to compensate. So far, Westminster City Council has not been able to help...

2017-01-10 06:26:36 +0000

BRITAIN’S FAVOURITE MARKET Last day to vote. Please do. These votes help us to demonstrate our commitment to Berwick Street Market​, Soho, London W1

2016-12-22 19:38:24 +0000

On Thursday 8th December 2016 Westminster City Council published a report triggered by our petition. The report was to be presented to WCC cabinet meeting Monday 12th December 2016. That report contained evidence that had been doctored to suit the purposes of its author. On Sunday 11th December we exposed this fraudulent behaviour and the doctored evidence, a significant letter, was changed but the remainder of the report remained misleading as intended by its author. WCC have apologised for the 'error' but not explained who changed the evidence or why. This is what we are up against. You can find the correspondence here.

2016-12-09 08:55:34 +0000

Westminster Cabinet Meeting to reject Berwick St Market petition in favour of privatisation. Public meeting Monday 12th December at 7pm

2016-11-30 08:36:57 +0000

Joanna Lumley Lights-Up @BerW1ckStMarket 6th December 2016
With Joanna Lumley, Soho Parish Primary Carol Singers and Charlie Wood AND Special Guests: Mr Burns_Waylon Smithers_Principal Skinner_Ned Flanders_Reverend Lovejoy_Kent Brockman in the form of The Harry Shearer. Please come raise a glass and mince pie to toast the beautiful, passionate and creative community of people called Soho. Please join us. Tuesday 6th December 2016 / 5.30pm

2016-11-21 13:32:47 +0000

Ballad of Berwick Street, composed by Dai Watts and broadcast by Robert Elms, BBC Radio London on behalf of the Soho Community and Berwick Street Traders

2016-11-15 08:13:30 +0000

We have a 36,000 signature petition. Our Asset of Community Value application has been accepted for consideration by Westminster City Council. We won the TimeOut public vote. Please join us in celebration on the 6th December 2016 at 6pm @BerW1ckStMarket

2016-11-15 08:04:32 +0000

Berwick Street Market has won Best SHOPS in Soho! #LoveLondonAwards

2016-10-30 11:11:53 +0000

2 DAYS LEFT - PLEASE VOTE Please help us demonstrate Berwick Street Market is important. This is all about public support for a Soho community market that is at risk of being lost to gentrification. There are just 2 DAYS LEFT TO VOTE BERWICK ST MARKET_Time Out Love London Awards … make your vote count for #indy #Soho_pls share

2016-10-30 11:05:32 +0000

Price drop means traders will make a bid to run market for themselves

2016-10-30 11:01:28 +0000

Joanna Lumley sets out her stall to rescue Soho market from takeover threat

2016-10-22 13:31:46 +0100

Don't let them rip the heart out of Soho @BerW1ckStMarket Last chance to VOTE INDEPENDENT BERWICK STREET MARKET_Time Out #LOVELONDONAWARDS #BerwickStMarket … …

2016-10-13 21:14:21 +0100

You have voted to keep Berwick Street Market alive as an independent market place against the interests of developers and gentrification it's TIME TO VOTE BERWICK STREET MARKET in Time Out Love London Awards … make your vote count for indy Soho_pls vote, retweet and share _22,053 votes will secure Berwick Street market a place in history...we have come a long way_pls do not underestimate the power of your vote (sadly we are listed under 'shops')

2016-09-27 12:55:12 +0100

#BerwickStMarket was here_new plan shows contractors hoardings will slice market in two and cut surface area by half_stop this madness #Soho

2016-09-27 07:49:55 +0100

#BerwickStMarket was here_new plan shows contractors hoardings will slice market in two and cut surface area by half_stop this madness #Soho

2016-09-26 07:20:35 +0100

End of part two. The bidding window closes this week. Westminster slashed its price by £60,000 (previous updates) and extended the bid till Friday 30th Sept. This will create chaos. The price is now be a temptation despite total lack of infrastructure which has been sold off. Bidders will be chancers who think they can turn a profit but have nothing to lose if they don't as they can collect from traders. There remains no storage, no washroom, no toilet, no parking, no drop-off. The infrastructure is the road surface and two taps, one of which does not work. We have engaged with Westminster and presented an alternative plan We have raised a legal fund, made an application for an ACV (Community Asset Listing) and driven stakeholder engagement (part two). Part three will deal with whatever bids come our way and the manoeuvres of councillors and cabinet who seem determined to finish us off…

2016-09-26 06:44:24 +0100

Traders call to halt sell-off of Berwick Street Market in Soho as bid to find operator ‘fails’

2016-09-26 06:41:05 +0100

WESTMINSTER Council has slashed its asking price for a private operator to run Soho’s Berwick Street Market.

The council has dropped the amount it wants for the first year from £187,000 to £127,000. The application deadline has also been extended to September 30.

Robin Smith, from the Berwick Street Traders Society, said: “We are not surprised as we said all along the way that the maths doesn’t work. The price is probably appetising now, but it doesn’t deal with the lack of infrastructure. We think it is going to lead to chaos.”

The council said it responded to calls for a price review from potential operators who they say wanted more “flexibility” to develop the market.

It says they have cut the costs by excluding capital costs of electricity bollards in the first year and halving the time “city inspectors” allocate to the market.

2016-09-21 12:05:51 +0100

@SohoGeorge says RETWEET FOR VICTORY #BerwickStMarket #GBHighSt #2016Awards #Soho

2016-09-18 21:41:58 +0100

Good luck @berW1ckStMarket - you're in the running for the #GBHighSt awards 2016!

2016-09-18 21:41:14 +0100

Good luck Robin Smith @berW1ckStMarket - you've been nominated for market champion in the #GBHighSt awards!

2016-09-16 20:44:07 +0100

Today is the day bidding for #BerwickStMarket came to a close. Instead_WCC slashed the price and extended the deadline_whatever next #BOGOF We need to scale up like bullfrog. Please follow us on twitter @BerW1ckStMarket and, if you have the energy for a 2nd click, retweet the Guardian article and/or the West End Extra article Thanks very very much....

2016-09-10 12:51:33 +0100

This is important_the social economy of #Soho is at stake_support independent future for #BerwickStMarket #gbhighst

2016-09-07 11:20:06 +0100

The meeting went ahead, raising more questions than answers. Despite serious local issues (demolitions, development, pollution, infrastructure, storage, parking, cost) and threat to the existence of the market, Westminster confirmed the privatisation is going ahead but would fail if they didn't get bids; another bidder dropped out last night. Meanwhile Berwick Street Traders Society has made an application for an ACV (Asset of Community Value) listing for the market and receipt of that application was acknowledged yesterday. The application was made by a professional planning firm, with support of a legal team courtesy of 38Degrees member who contributed to the fund. Thanks again.

2016-08-31 16:14:22 +0100

The last Westminster Council meeting before bidding closes is Tuesday 6th September 2016 5.30pm at 8 Berwick Street W1F 0PH RSVP straightaway to David Wilkins

2016-08-03 17:56:05 +0100

Big THANK YOU @38_degrees members @SohoGeorge Violet(89) and #BerwickStTraders who raised the legal fund now deposited with @smablaw

2016-07-25 07:14:53 +0100

Soho's last stand? Inside the battle to keep Berwick Street market independent #BerwickStMarket #Soho #Indy

2016-07-21 13:40:35 +0100

Westminster City Council Privatisation of Berwick Street Market meeting Tuesday 26th July at 6pm
Chinese Community Centre, 2 Leicester Ct, London, WC2H 7DW (the tender has gone public today)


2016-07-21 08:33:44 +0100

We are blown away by the generosity and support of 38Degrees members_thank you so so much for supporting our campaign. After one night we have half of our legal fund_that really is amazing.

Thank you. Robin.
Chair, Berwick Street Traders Society

2016-07-18 18:20:59 +0100

Friday 15th July. Westminster write to us to say they are kicking off the privatisation process w/c 18th July. As we are not getting a response to our letters, we have no choice but to go legal.

2016-07-05 07:31:54 +0100

Our story in a nutshell - BBC London News @BerW1ckStMarket _please SIGN and SHARE the PETITION

2016-07-05 07:00:30 +0100


Berwick Street Market is under threat. Traditional traders in fruit veg and flowers etc will not survive cost increases associated with privatisation, which will treble licence fees at a minimum. No one on low margins witll cope with this. What-is-more, WCC has not factored in storage and parking costs that are borne by traders through the private sector. These are significant costs. We must protect Berwick Street Market as a important piece of the fabric of Soho community and culture. Berwick Street is arguably the most vital community space in Soho. It has to be protected as a community asset and not become a leisure strip sold to the highest bidder. Locals depend on it for company and conversation. Here is your opportunity to let Soho know what's important to you

2016-07-04 14:10:28 +0100


Kemp House (aka "the Knocking Shop" because of banging not because it’ll be a cheap hotel in a red light district) demolition is coming to an end. A reprieve from filth before pile-driving begins and time to consider a legal course.

We’ve raised £1800 of £5000 to cover costs of Berwick St Market being listed as a community asset. We’re hoping that an article in the Guardian, coverage by Market News (NMTF) and a campaign being run by a local ad agency (BBH) will drive this petition through 100,000 and into Parliament (if we still have one). With 100,000 signatures we can look to protect all markets.

The legal fund is currently our most significant challenge, we’ve two weeks to start the legal process in a spotlight of much anticipated media coverage and before trader licences expire on December 31st 2016. If you have fund raising experience or suggestions please share @BerW1ckStMarket

2016-07-04 13:37:54 +0100


There are those who still think a private operator may be a good idea, but these people haven’t done the maths and will consign Berwick Street Market to history if they continue to ignore that facts of life. Soho rents are forcing businesses out, gentrification is pushing prices up and private operators cost money, and their costs sit on top of WCC costs. Operators are deployed to monetise not communitise. We maintain our position that privatization will not work and the risk is the loss of an historic market and a much loved community asset. Thank you for reading, please keep sharing this petition. Every signature counts. @BerW1ckStMarket

2016-07-04 13:35:53 +0100


We are formalising the Berwick Street Traders Society (BSTS) today Monday 4th July to bring more organisational clout to us independent traders, Monday 4th July being independence day. The issuing of new trading licences, running to December 31st (who is going to replacing is on January 1st?) have provided ta breathing space to tidy-up loose ends after 4 months of campaigning. An application for the registration of a Community Interest Company (not for profit) is also in progress - when successful, it is our proposal that the CIC will become the vehicle for operating Berwick Street Market at cost (rather than 400% cost increases associated with private operators) that’s if WCC permit us to do the decent thing for the market and its community.

2016-07-04 13:26:57 +0100


A proposal for Mayor funding for improvements to our crammed storage space has been approved. The intention is to lay new floor and ramp to silence the barrows and trolleys as they exit/enter, to reduce any impact of noise for local residents. We have to kick start the crowd-funding component quickly so it is important that we have the confidence that we’ll be here and permitted to continue to trade as a traditional market with a Soho twist into the foreseeable future.

Other good news;@ElizabethDbakes has been asked to supply Wholefoods with Vegan cakes from her stall on Berwick Street Market (how amazing is that) and @SohoDairy is shortlisted for the FSB London Start-Up Award. Meanwhile, restaurant owner Ali Asku of the Mediterranean Café has decided to offer delicious breakfast and lunch flat breads from a table at the front of his restaurant - if you can’t beat 'em, join 'em eh Ali? @BerW1ckStLondon

2016-07-04 12:53:46 +0100


Geraud wants to buy all central London markets and appears to be working with Kerb. Kerb, perturbed by lack of storage (sold off) and parking (sold off), is considering running trucks of branded stalls in/out of London to service multiple markets. 6am trucks and corporate "restaurant quality street food” stalls won’t impress locals. Kerb is also concerned about demolitions and suggest a 2 year pause for developments to end but the “Berwick Street Boar” (gale force blast caused by Kemp House tower) will end any restaurant quality aspirations fast.

Peter Beckwith (PMB) is said to have asked to buy the street and hit the roof when told it was ‘sold’. Other contenders have withdrawn due to works, storage and parking issues, apparently including Alan Sugar and his Tottenham team. Good to know we’re getting so much attention. Sad to agree privatisation economics don’t add up - only a not-for-profit approach has any chance of success @BerW1ckStMarket

2016-07-04 09:27:52 +0100


Our petitions have grown to more than 35,000 signatures. Westminster City Council’s (WCC) 30th June termination of the Berwick Street Trader (BST) licences has been pushed back to 31st December, with a suggestion that it maybe delayed further but no guarantee.

Informed sources say that Geraud, a huge French, international market operator has teamed up with street food Kerb to "buy"’ Berwick Street Market - word on the street is they think they have already done so. Despite Westminster City Council's denial of any deal done, this looks very likely to be the case, as Camden Market was sold a few weeks ago, reportedly to the same two firms, and Brixton Market is going the same way. Camden licences are rising to between £500 and £600 a week - kiss goodbye to Berwick Street Fruit, Veg, Flowers & any other fresh produce if that happens.

Thank you for reading, please keep sharing this petition. Every signature really counts. @BerW1ckStMarket

2016-06-11 17:16:31 +0100

20,000 signatures reached

2016-06-07 15:41:54 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2016-06-07 12:50:50 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2016-06-06 18:20:30 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2016-06-06 17:22:27 +0100

500 signatures reached

2016-06-06 15:24:16 +0100

100 signatures reached

2016-06-05 23:05:57 +0100

50 signatures reached

2016-06-04 16:18:30 +0100

25 signatures reached

2016-06-04 12:09:13 +0100

10 signatures reached