A FAMILY who have fed hungry shoppers for 15 years have been told that there is no place for their traditional hot dog and hot potato stall in Accrington's new Market Square complex.
Michael and Carolyn Cornall-Saunders, who have traded on Accrington's present market for a decade and a half, say that the ruling could put them both out of a job.
An angry Michael, 47, said: "The council sent us a letter saying that we would not fit in aesthetically with the new market. This could mean we end up going out of business. They have offered to move us to one of the new kiosks in Peel Street but we cannot afford the refitting the unit would need as well as having to pay twice the rent we do at the moment.''
He added: " I am trying to negotiate some way in which we can perhaps get a pitch nearby, but so far the council has come up with nothing. We might find somewhere on a flea market if we go, but that would really be no good to us.''
Over the space of seven days, 1,000 people have signed a petition asking the council to think again about its decision to end the Cornall-Saunders' pitch on Broadway.
Carolyn, also 47, said: "The response to the petition from people in the town has been tremendous.''
She added: "Our daughter Samantha helps us out. She is a one-parent mum so she obviously needs the money, but she will be out of work as well. We have started fitting up a new stall to replace the one we have now but if we had known this was happening we would not have gone to this expense.
"It is now too late to find a pitch on another market. Many of these markets already have their own strict catering arrangements.''
She said: "We have been here so long that we have become part of the fixtures and fittings of the market. We have seen the kids who were our customers when we first came grow up, and now they bring their children along with them. We have always paid our rent over 15 years but now we are being treated like this counts for nothing.''
The director of Hyndburn FIRST, Mr Nigel Rix, said: "The problem is that that this is a van, rather than a stall. Councillors came to their decision partly on consideration of appearance and also because of hygiene considerations.
"We have offered Mr Cornall-Saunders one of the kiosks in Peel Street, where food could be served in a healthier environment. Peel Street is likely to become an area bustling with pedestrians. We do not really want the aisles designed for shoppers impeded by trailers and other vehicles.''
Mr Rix said: " I would certainly be happy to meet Mr Cornall-Saunders to discuss finding a place for him. We certainly do not want to lose the valued service he has given in providing the townspeople with hot dogs.''