22 October 1999

Crewe pulls plug on French affair

A LOCAL council has abandoned plans for a town-centre French market after Cheshire farmers threatened to make the event a target for direct action.

Crewe was due to host the market on Nov 11 in conjunction with retailers from the towns French twin, Macon. But the farmers, who were angry at Frances continuing refusal to drop the beef ban, warned councillors that they would hold a protest and rally at the market if it went ahead.

In response the council agreed to call off the market until the French dropped the beef ban.

The NFU lent its support to the farmer protest. County chairman, Ken Oliver, said: "Common sense has prevailed. It is nothing personal against the French, but the livelihoods of our farmers are being threatened by the political action of the French government.

Leader of Crewe and Nantwich Council, Peter Kent, accepted that "feelings were running high locally" and suggested that the farmers arranged their own market instead.