Community campaigners in Newham, east London, have scored a victory in their campaign to save Queens Market in Upton Park from being shut down and turned into a supermarket.
Newham’s New Labour council wanted to sell off the much-loved market to Asda, which is run by US multinational Wal-Mart. But on Friday of last week Asda announced that it was pulling out of the redevelopment plans
Queens Market sells cheap and healthy food to local people from across the borough’s diverse communities.
The plans to shut it down were opposed by a broad and vibrant public campaign, backed by Newham Respect and other community organisations.
“We’re really pleased that the community campaign to save Queens Market has made an impact and that Asda is pulling out,” said Hanif Abdulmuhit, Newham Respect councillor.
“What we need now is an energetic plan to preserve the market’s character and move it back to the centre of street life in Upton Park.”
But Hanif warned that New Labour has not yet given up – the council is now searching for another retail giant to step into Asda’s shoes. “Labour councillors pretend that they’re ‘listening’, but they haven’t really changed their minds,” he said.