Council bid to protect market charter given in Middle Ages

A COUNCIL is launching the latest in a series of court battles to preserve a traditional market's historic monopoly.

East Staffordshire Borough Council has applied to the High Court for an injunction to prevent a market from setting up in Uttoxeter as a rival to the council market, which has a charter granted in the Middle Ages.

Staffordshire Council solicitor Lynne Kelly said the application was the latest in many launched by the local authority over the years.

"Certainly our actions are not unique and, yes, we are in contact with other councils," said Kelly of the issues involved in the case.

She did not agree that the local council was using an antiquated law to protect a modern monopoly.

"Charter rights are an asset – they're something that has a saleable value," she said.

Last year the Department of the Environment consulted on charters, which were historically granted by Royalty or Lords of the Manor, and decided to allow them to remain.