North Ayrshire Council has teamed up with the operators of Saltcoats Market to make sure the public get the ‘Real Deal’ when it comes to bagging a bargain.
The ‘Real Deal’ initiative is a national campaign aimed at signing up market operators to the National Markets’ Charter, an agreement which sets out safeguards and standards for stallholders and customers.
Markets which follow strict Charter guidelines are easily identifiable by the distinct ‘Real Deal’ logo on display at trading locations. This mark of quality affirms that stallholders do not sell illegal items or try to ‘rip off’ customers.
Market operator Spook Erection has signed up to the Charter in respect of their two Ayrshire sites, at Saltcoats and Ayr, and are working in partnership with the Trading Standards departments at both North Ayrshire Council and South Ayrshire Council to protect consumers.
Trading Standards will make sure standards are upheld and, if necessary, enforced at the two venues.
The Charter also acts to prevent the sale of dangerous, counterfeit, pirated or stolen goods.
Council Leader Willie Gibson said: “I am delighted that Saltcoats Market has signed up to this charter.
“The market has been popular among local people and visitors since the 1960s and has built up a good standing in the community.
“It is good to see that stallholders are absolutely committed to ensuring shoppers can be confident that anything they buy is sourced legally and is safe to use.
“By signing up to this Charter, local markets are making an effort to show that they are still a place for a bargain, but not at the expense of quality and safety.”
Councillor John McDowall, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Trading Standards added: “Local markets, such as Ayr’s Sunday market offer a wide variety of diverse goods to the public and we all need to be confident these are fit for purpose and legitimate.
“Committing to the National Markets’ Charter sends out a clear message to traders and purchasers that we are serious about the quality of goods on sale at all markets and we will not hesitate to take action on anyone selling counterfeit or low quality goods.”
Patricia Lennon, Real Deal Campaign Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome the two Councils and Spook Erection markets to the scheme. This is a great example of partnership working between two local authorities and a private market operator.
“The Real Deal scheme provides an effective solution for market operators to keep counterfeiting con-men at bay and to protect the interests of shoppers and market traders who sell genuine goods.
“By signing the Real Deal charter, Spook Erection has shown that it is possible to implement fake-free policies at even the largest markets by working in partnership with local Trading Standards services.”